Tag: Book Stuff

My Latest Book Haul

Oh, I do love to go book shopping and because I love to buy books as much as I love to read books, I have to temper myself. And while I haven’t actually set myself a budget, I do try to only order 3-4 books a month, given that’s usually how many I read. That said, however, because of this damn virus, and all but being housebound, I am reading more, and yes, therefore, buying more.

What can I say, we’re all probably as bad as one another and why not. Who needs an excuse but hell, I’ll take this one and run with it. So this latest book haul includes:

All The Devils Are Here — Louise Penny

This is Louise Penny’s latest, and the sixteenth Three Pines Mystery (Sept, 2020) featuring the redoubtable Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. And, Toto, we’re no longer in Québec this time around, but the city of eternal light, Paris.

“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 d’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.”

Slow Horses — Mick Herron

Oh, how I love me a good spy novel. I gobbled up a ton of John Le Carré back in the day, and then for dessert, consumed nearly all of Len Deighton’s series of books, Hook, Line, and Sinker. And then Game, Set, and Match. So I was happy to discover Mick Herron and the Slough House series.

“London, England: Slough House is where the washed-up MI5 spies go to while away what’s left of their failed careers. The “slow horses,” as they’re called, have all disgraced themselves in some way to get relegated here. Maybe they messed up an op badly and can’t be trusted anymore. Maybe they got in the way of an ambitious colleague and had the rug yanked out from under them. Maybe they just got too dependent on the bottle—not unusual in this line of work. One thing they all have in common, though, is they all want to be back in the action. And most of them would do anything to get there─even if it means having to collaborate with one another.

River Cartwright, one such ‘slow horse,’ is bitter about his failure and about his tedious assignment transcribing cell phone conversations. When a young man is abducted and his kidnappers threaten to broadcast his beheading live on the Internet, River sees an opportunity to redeem himself. But is the victim who he first appears to be? And what’s the kidnappers’ connection with a disgraced journalist? As the clock ticks on the execution, River finds that everyone has his own agenda.”

Bad Day At The Vulture Club — Vaseem Khan

Another favourite series of mine is the Baby Genesh Agency books by Vaseem Khan. Funny, whimsical, clever, and oh so endearing, not only because our erstwhile hero, Inspector Chopra─who has an elephant for a sidekick─but because the stories, set in Mumbai, India, are so very different to the usual run of the mill for a crime series.

The Parsees are among the oldest, most secretive and most influential communities in the city: respected, envied and sometimes feared.

When prominent industrialist Cyrus Zorabian is murdered on holy ground, his body dumped inside a Tower of Silence – where the Parsee dead are consumed by vultures – the police dismiss it as a random killing. But his daughter is unconvinced.

Chopra, uneasy at entering this world of power and privilege, is soon plagued by doubts about the case.

But murder is murder. And in Mumbai, wealth and corruption go in hand in hand, inextricably linking the lives of both high and low.

So, what do you think? Three more excellent reads to look forward to. And you, dear reader, what are you reading or looking forward to reading next?

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?

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?

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix. And I am so glad I chose to read this next out of the 4-5 books calling to me from my TBR. As this, as it turns out, has been the perfect read for this time of year. Not only featuring the ubiquitous vampire but the first couple of chapters of observational humour had me laughing so hard, I had to go back and re-read sections. This is going on my list of the best books of the year, that’s how good it’s been so far!

What did I recently finish reading:

I finished reading And Fire Came Down by Emma Viskic in record time, this weekend. Here again is another excellent, hard-hitting book that I just couldn’t put down. This is book 2 in Viskic’s the Caleb Zelic series that started with Resurrection Bay. And let me tell you, this is turning out to be one hell of a knock-out series, Caleb is one of those characters you just can’t help but root for. Watch out for my review this coming Friday!

What am I reading next:

Ah, that’s always the though question because, despite having a towering TBR with so many good books on, I never know until the last minute exactly which one of them I’m going to start. Yes, I know, it’s not indecision more that I’m a mood reader and, as such, have quite the eclectic mix in my reading pile just in case. Everything from fantasy and SF through to cozy mystery with some murder and mayhem, as you never know.

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