Category: Discussions & Memes

Waiting on Wednesday

Today, for a change, I thought I would do a Waiting on Wednesday post for you, about a book I’m really anticipating. This is a weekly prompt to highlight and bring attention to upcoming releases that we’re anticipating and amped up for. This prompt is brought to you by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.

Of the many books on my Wish List, and yes, there are a few, the one that I’m really eager to get my hands on, at the moment, having just recently read Kingdom of the Blind, is ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE by Louise Penny. This will be her 16th book in the The Three Pines series featuring Armand Gamache. But, as the summary below tells us, Gamache is no longer in his beloved Québec, but has travelled further afield, and everything is not as it should be. But then again, when is it ever, in a Louise Penny book?

I am so excited about reading this one because Penny has taken Gamache outside of his familiar territory and comfort zone, and dumped him in what will be, I hope, one of Penny’s best books to date.

Book Summary

On their first night in Paris, the Gamaches gather as a family for a bistro dinner with Armand’s godfather, the billionaire Stephen Horowitz. Walking home together after the meal, they watch in horror as Stephen is knocked down and critically injured in what Gamache knows is no accident, but a deliberate attempt on the elderly man’s life.

When a strange key is found in Stephen’s possession it sends Armand, his wife Reine-Marie, and his former second-in-command at the Sûreté, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, from the top of the Tour Eiffel, to the bowels of the Paris Archives, from luxury hotels to odd, coded, works of art.

It sends them deep into the secrets Armand’s godfather has kept for decades.

A gruesome discovery in Stephen’s Paris apartment makes it clear the secrets are more rancid, the danger far greater and more imminent, than they realized.

Soon the whole family is caught up in a web of lies and deceit.  In order to find the truth, Gamache will have to decide whether he can trust his friends, his colleagues, his instincts, his own past.  His own family.

For even the City of Light casts long shadows. And in that darkness devils hide.

by Louise Penny
Murder Mystery
Hardback | 448 pages
Sept 1 2020 by Minotaur Books

Top Ten Tuesday: Non-Bookish Hobbies

Well, it’s that time of the week again and this week’s topic, from Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl, is what are our Non-Bookish Hobbies. Which basically allows us to waffle on about anything and everything we love to do, outside of reading that is. So what are some of my favourite hobbies?

Well, here we go, here are my top favourite 5:

PHOTOGRAPHY: I’ve been taking pictures, like a lot of other people who are obsessed with photography, since an early age. And, up until the corona virus putting us all back in lockdown, you could have found me outside, clicking one of my many cameras—I have four. And yes, several different types of lens as well. And while I’ll take photos of mostly anything, it’s mostly photos of nature that I’m drawn to.

NATURE: Which brings me to another of my hobbies. All things to do with nature. Combining my love of photography with nature walks through the many parks here, in Québec City, I get the best of both worlds. I can get outside, I can go for a lovely walk, and I can snap pictures to my hearts content. And what both do, is make me more observant.

FLOWERS: While I love nature as a whole, one of my passions is flowers. Sketching them, looking at them, growing them, and yes, taking floral portraits. What, I hear you ask, is a floral portrait? Ha, just me taking lots of close ups of flowers. I currently have about 10,000 floral portraits in my portfolio. I always wanted to do my own book on flowers, as seen through the seasons. Maybe one day, I will.

SKETCHING: Tie in the nature walks, with the photography, and the flower obsession, and you have me sketching and doing bad water colours. And while I will never be even mediocre as an artists, I nonetheless love scribbling and dabbling, and spending a couple of hours absorbed in creating art.

JOURNALLING: Another one of my more recent passions, which I started back in 2016 for certain health reasons. And when you tie this in with the previous four hobbies, you see a pattern emerging here. Whether it’s becoming more aware of my surroundings and my life, to observing more and paying attention to details, to trying to capture those moments and images. Everything ties in together with these hobbies, at least, for me it does.

I also love:

  • Scribbling stories
  • Creating havoc in the kitchen
  • Staring into space
  • Gardening (on the balcony)
  • Science fiction: movies, TV, books, and games

And you, Dear Reader, what are you favourite hobbies outside of reading?

WWW Wednesday

Bonjour tout la monde: welcome to WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words in which we ask three simple questions:

  • What are you currently Reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

So, what have I been up to this last week, I hear you ask? Well, let’s see …

What I’m currently reading:

I started reading the hardback of, The Kingdom of the Blind, by Louise Penny on Monday, as this one has been sat on my TBR for, well, over a year I think! My bad, I know. I thought I better get on it seeing how the next in the Three Pines series, All the Devils are Here, was release at the beginning of September. To be honest, I don’t know how Penny does it, I mean, keep the momentum up on this series. Continuing to find stories to tell is one thing, but continuing to make you set characters change and grow within these stories, is where her genius lies.

What did I recently finish:

I finished Planetside by Michael Mammay, this weekend—the first in a military SF series. And what a clever roller coaster ride of cerebral twists, and heady fast-paced action it was. Almost a police procedural within a military SF framework, with an alien invasion (that would be humans invading a planet inhabited by a sentient species) resulting in a guerrilla war. It had all the right elements, and a well written and defined cast that carried a plot with some great twists. Definitely well worth your time.

What am I reading next:

Ah! This is always the million dollar question, and one I can never answer straight off the bat as I have so many great books sat on my coffee table right now. But I’m thinking, once I finish The Kingdom of the Blind, that I might read Red Noise by John P. Murphy. You could say this is a Kill Bill inspired story, but set aboard a space station. Yes, you see the allure, and oh, does it sound fun! But then again, I’m waiting on Dead Stop by Barbara Nickless in my next book mail. So …

And you, what are you currently reading, or planning on reading next?

Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween Reads

5 Well-Executed Murder-Mysteries

Everybody who reads murder-mysteries probably has their favourite books as well as their favourite go-to authors. Well, for this last week leading up to Halloween, I want to share with you 5 of my favourites—yes, I know it’s supposed to be Top Ten Tuesday, but I’m sure That Artsy Reader Girl will forgive me my transgression here

THE ART OF DETECTION by Laurie R. King — The last book in the Kate Martinelli series, this one was a fun read because King has Kate and her partner, Al Hawkin, on the trail of a killer who may have trained with the greatest detective of them all, Sherlock, yes … Sherlock Holmes!

“Kate Martinelli has seen her share of peculiar things as a San Francisco cop, but never anything quite like this: an ornate Victorian sitting room straight out of a Sherlock Holmes story–complete with violin, tobacco-filled Persian slipper, and gunshots in the wallpaper that spell out the initials of the late queen.

Philip Gilbert was a true Holmes fanatic, from his antiquated décor to his vintage wardrobe. And no mere fan of fiction’s great detective, but a leading expert with a collection of priceless memorabilia that some would kill for.

And perhaps someone did: In his collection is a century-old manuscript purportedly written by Holmes himself–a manuscript that eerily echoes details of Gilbert’s own murder.”

THE NATURE OF THE BEAST by Louise Penny — One of my all-time favourite authors, Penny is into her sixteenth or is that, seventeenth Three Pines story featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, head of the Sûreté du Québec. In The Nature of the Beast, Gamache and his wife, Reine Marie, are now living in the not so quiet village of Three Pines when a terrible tragedy occurs.

“Hardly a day goes by when nine year old Laurent Lepage doesn’t cry wolf. From alien invasions, to walking trees, to winged beasts in the woods, to dinosaurs spotted in the village of Three Pines, his tales are so extraordinary no one can possibly believe him. But when the boy disappears the villagers are faced with the possibility that one of his tall tales might have been true. And so begins a frantic search for the boy and the truth. What they uncover deep in the forest sets off a sequence of events that leads to murder, leads to an old crime, leads to an old betrayal. Leads right to the door of an old poet.”

RESURRECTION BAY by Emma Viskic — The Caleb Zelic series has been one of the best series I’ve come across in a long while. Viskic’s Caleb Zelic is no ordinary investigator, and not your usual character, he’s deaf. But it’s not just Viskic’s unusual character that make this an outstanding series, but her writing style that utterly compliments her character’s disability. Sharp, jagged, and brilliantly written, you cannot go wrong joining Caleb as he solves a series of murders in his own, stubborn, unique way.

“Caleb Zelic, profoundly deaf since early childhood, has always lived on the outside—watching, picking up telltale signs people hide in a smile, a cough, a kiss. When a childhood friend is murdered, a sense of guilt and a determination to prove his own innocence sends Caleb on a hunt for the killer. But he can’t do it alone. Caleb and his troubled friend Frankie, an ex-cop, start with one clue: Scott, the last word the murder victim texted to Caleb. But Scott is always one step ahead.”

BLOOD ON THE TRACKS by Barbara Nickless — This is book one in another new series I just recently discovered and, fell in love with. The writing in this debut is outstanding, as is the plotting, characters, and the murder-mystery it self. All so well written and thought through that I’ve already bought books 2 and 3 in the series.

“A young woman is found brutally murdered, and the main suspect is the victim’s fiancé, a hideously scarred Iraq War vet known as the Burned Man. But railroad police Special Agent Sydney Rose Parnell, brought in by the Denver Major Crimes unit to help investigate, can’t shake the feeling that larger forces are behind this apparent crime of passion.

In the depths of an icy winter, Parnell and her K9 partner, Clyde―both haunted by their time in Iraq―descend into the underground world of a savage gang of rail riders. There, they uncover a wide-reaching conspiracy and a series of shocking crimes. Crimes that threaten everything Parnell holds dear. As the search for the truth puts her directly in the path of the killer, Parnell must struggle with a deadly question: Can she fight monsters without becoming one herself?”

CRITICAL MASS by Sara Paretsky — Sara Paretsky has been writing the V. I. Warshawski series for a while now, and each and every murder that Vic finds herself caught up in is always a nail-biting read. What I loved about Critical Mass in particular is Paretsky has twin timelines on the go. One in which Vic finds herself drawn into a series of secrets and lie stretching all the way back to the Second World War. Which is where the second timeline is set—a heartbreaking thread set in Nazi war-torn Austria.

“V.I. Warshawski’s closest friend in Chicago is the Viennese-born doctor Lotty Herschel, who lost most of her family in the Holocaust. Lotty escaped to London in 1939 on the Kindertransport with a childhood playmate, Kitty Saginor Binder. As young women, the two both moved on to Chicago, where they find that a shared past isn’t enough to make them friends. They lead separate lives, but when Kitty’s daughter finds her life is in danger, the younger woman calls Lotty, who, in turn, summons V.I. to help. The daughter’s troubles turn out to be just the tip of an iceberg of lies, secrets, and silence, whose origins go back to the mad competition among America, Germany, Japan and England to develop the first atomic bomb. The secrets are old, but the people who continue to guard them today will not let go of them without a fight.”

And you, what are some of your current favourites?