Book Reviews

Book Review: The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah

Happy Monday bookish people! I hope you are all having a good day today. I am bringing you my review of The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah, one of the books in her new Poirot book series.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will do my best to not include any spoilers.

The Mystery of Three Quarters Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was the third of Sophie Hannah’s Poirot books that I have read and in this one Poirot finds out that someone has sent seemingly unconnected people letters accusing them of being a murderer and they have been signed as if by Poirot himself. I found this premise very interesting, it throws the reader into the suspense from the first page and that is one thing I really enjoy in mystery books, I like to feel apart of the mystery from early on.

The Mystery of Three Quarters Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Of course the main character in this book is Poirot. I have always loved anything to do with Poirot, since I was a child and I used to watch all the David Suchet episodes on TV on a Sunday while eating my lunch and of course I have read many of the Agatha Christie books. I think it’s where my love of crime fiction started.

The Mystery of Three Quarters Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It must have taken a lot of research for Sophie Hannah to begin writing these books because there have been a lot of adaptations of Poirot but I think that she captures his mannerisms and speech very well.

The Mystery of Three Quarters Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because I enjoyed this one just as much as the rest of the other two in the series I have read.

Blurb/Synopsis:

The world’s most beloved detective, Hercule Poirot, the legendary star of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and most recently The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket, returns in a stylish, diabolically clever mystery set in the London of 1930.

Hercule Poirot returns home after an agreeable luncheon to find an angry woman waiting to berate him outside his front door. Her name is Sylvia Rule, and she demands to know why Poirot has accused her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met. She is furious to be so accused, and deeply shocked. Poirot is equally shocked, because he too has never heard of any Barnabas Pandy, and he certainly did not send the letter in question. He cannot convince Sylvia Rule of his innocence, however, and she marches away in a rage.

Shaken, Poirot goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him — a man called John McCrodden who also claims also to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy…

Poirot wonders how many more letters of this sort have been sent in his name. Who sent them, and why? More importantly, who is Barnabas Pandy, is he dead, and, if so, was he murdered? And can Poirot find out the answers without putting more lives in danger?

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood

Happy Monday bookish people! I hope you are all having a good day today. I am bringing you my book review of The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood.

As always in this book review I will be giving star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will do my best to avoid any spoilers.

The Marlow Murder Club Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have to be honest, I went into this book with some preconceptions. First was that I had already read The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman a while before this and I had heard that they were similar and they were a bit, the characters were in the older age group and the overall tone of the book is quite light. For me that was the end of the similarities which I was happy about because I ended up enjoying The Marlow Murder Club more then The Thursday Murder Club. The other preconception I had was that Robert Thorogood wrote a lot of the Death In Paradise episodes and my friend and I have seen every single episode, we love the series, actually we compete over it to see who gets the most right by the end of each series. I was worried that the book would feel like a repeat of one of the episodes, and personally that meant that I was a bit disappointed by the ending of this book because, without spoiling anything, I was able to guess the ending early on because it was a similar plot to one of the episodes.

The Marlow Murder Club Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Judith Potts is the main character (there are more of them in the group later in the book but I won’t spoil anything) and I really felt like I could relate to her, an elderly lady who can’t help herself but be nosy. That’s definitely going to be me. It’s really hard to talk about the characters in this book without spoiling anything so I won’t say too much more but I will say I loved the energy of Judith Potts and her friends, this book was a great introduction to them and I hope that we will see more of them in coming books.

The Marlow Murder Club Writing and Dialogue

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As I said earlier, this book has a very light tone to it, there’s a lot of comedic elements to it which was something that I thought worked really well for the mystery in this book.

The Marlow Murder Club Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Overall, I gave this book a rating of four stars because I enjoyed the gathering pace of the novel and I thought the mystery was well-plotted, the only thing I didn’t enjoy was the ending and how similar it was to the episodes of Death In Paradise.

Blurb/Synopsis:

To solve an impossible murder, you need an impossible hero…

Judith Potts is seventy-seven years old and blissfully happy. She lives on her own in a faded mansion just outside Marlow, there’s no man in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink, and to keep herself busy she sets crosswords for The Times newspaper.

One evening, while out swimming in the Thames, Judith witnesses a brutal murder. The local police don’t believe her story, so she decides to investigate for herself, and is soon joined in her quest by Suzie, a salt-of-the-earth dog-walker, and Becks, the prim and proper wife of the local Vicar.

Together, they are the Marlow Murder Club.

When another body turns up, they realise they have a real-life serial killer on their hands. And the puzzle they set out to solve has become a trap from which they might never escape…

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review The Very Nice Box by Laura Blackett and Eve Gleichman

Happy Sunday bookish people! I am excited today to be bringing you my book review for The Very Nice Box by Laura Blackett and Eve Gleichman as part of the book tour. Thank you to Verve books for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.
In this book review I will be giving star ratings to four categories and writing a little bit about each one. I will do my best to not include any spoilers.

The Very Nice Box Plot

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I was interested in reading this book because the description sounded like a quirky take on the fiction genre even though books with a focus on romance aren’t usually my favourites to read. I thought it was an overall enjoyable read because it makes you see the world completely differently.

This story is about Ava Simon who designs storage boxes for STADA, a furniture company and she is still recovering from a tragedy that gives an interesting overview to the whole story, and she gets a new boss who is determined to get close to her.

The ending to this book was one of my favourite moments because, for me, it felt satisfying, the characters got the endings it felt like were right for their characters.

The Very Nice Box Characters

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Ava is the main character we follow in this book. I found myself quite drawn to her character, she keeps her life together by creating routines and order in everything which is something I have definitely done so I can relate to her character in an interesting way. That is one of the things that made this book an enjoyable read for me.

The Very Nice Box Writing and Dialogue

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As I say a lot in this section of my reviews I like when writing is clear and fluid, it helps me to not focus so much on how the sentences work together and just enjoy the story. For me, this book does just that.

The Very Nice Box Overall

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I gave this book three stars overall because I found it to be an interesting mix of quirky, comedic, and intense not exactly fiction and I enjoyed reading it but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I have some other books so that is why I gave this book this rating.

blurb/Synopsis:

Ava Simon designs storage boxes for STÄDA, a slick Brooklyn-based furniture company. She’s hard-working, obsessive, and heartbroken from a tragedy that killed her girlfriend and upended her life. It’s been years since she’s let anyone in.

But when Ava’s new boss—the young and magnetic Mat Putnam—offers Ava a ride home one afternoon, an unlikely relationship blossoms. Ava remembers how rewarding it can be to open up—and, despite her instincts, she becomes enamored. But Mat isn’t who he claims to be, and the romance takes a sharp turn.

The Very Nice Box is a wryly funny, suspenseful debut—with a shocking twist. It’s at once a send-up of male entitlement and a big-hearted account of grief, friendship, and trust.

Just to let you all know I tried to include an image here of the cover but for some reason it wouldn’t let me today.

that’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Monthly TBRs

August TBR

Happy Friday bookish people! I hope you are all having a good day today. Today I am bringing you my August TBR, there’s a lot of fantasy on it this month which I haven’t been reading a lot of in the past few months so we will have to see how that goes but overall I am pretty excited about the books on my TBR for the month.

August TBR

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

Library of the Unwritten by A J Hackwith

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

Kingdom of The Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco

Assassins Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Crownbreaker by Sebastien De Castell

Six Tudor Queens by Alison Weir

House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J Maas

By the Book by Amanda Sellet

The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

Small Favours by Erin A Craig

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey

The Falconer by Elizabeth May

That’s it for my August TBR, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Dangerous Women by Hope Adams

Happy Monday bookish people! I hope you’re all having a good day today. I am bringing you the book review for Dangerous Women by Hope Adams.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Dangerous Women Plot

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In this book the reader is transported into the world of a Women’s convict ship on it’s many weeks travelling across the sea to Australia for a new life. Then one of the women gets murdered. Not only is this book highly atmospheric, it has layers of tension, imagery and mystery and it is one of my favourite books of 2022 so far. I have recently been loving the historical mysteries and this novel fits in that genre perfectly. There’s not a lot I can say about this plot without spoiling anything because it is full of twists but I can say that if you like mystery books I would definitely recommend this book to you.

Dangerous Women Characters

Rating: 4 out of 5.

In this book you are mainly focused on the women as the main characters, and there are quite a few of them with their own important link to the plot, you also see the captain often. By following these characters I got very attached to a few of them, in particular the group of ladies who are part of the sewing group. This book, although it has a strong plot, is very character driven which I think works very well.

Dangerous Women Writing and Dialogue

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book is told from multiple perspectives which adds a very interesting layer to the mystery because you as the reader are learning things that the other characters might not know. I’m not usually the biggest fan of multiple perspectives but for this book it works.

Dangerous Women Overall

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because it was a fast-paced, high stakes historical mystery and I enjoyed it.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Nearly two hundred condemned women on board a sailing ship bound for Australia. One of them is a murderer. From debut author Hope Adams comes a thrilling novel based on the 1841 voyage of the convict ship Rajah, about confinement, hope, and the terrible things we do to survive.

London, 1841. One hundred eighty Englishwomen file aboard the Rajah, embarking on a three-month voyage to the other side of the world.

They’re daughters, sisters, mothers–and convicts.

Transported for petty crimes.

Except one of them has a deadly secret, and will do anything to flee justice.

As the Rajah sails farther from land, the women forge a tenuous kinship. Until, in the middle of the cold and unforgiving sea, a young mother is mortally wounded, and the hunt is on for the assailant before he or she strikes again.

Each woman called in for question has something to fear: Will she be attacked next? Will she be believed? Because far from land, there is nowhere to flee, and how can you prove innocence when you’ve already been found guilty?

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan

Happy Monday bookish people! I hope you are all having a good day today. Today I am bringing you a book review for my last June read which was Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Hot Dog Girl Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I was really excited to first get into this book. It had been on my wishlist for a long time until a friend sent me it and I was excited because, although it was a romance novel which isn’t my usual genre, it was set at a fun fair type location in a small town and I mean the cover showed a girl dressed up as a hot dog. I thought there would be some great comedy elements to it. There were a few of these and I was surprised how there were also serious topics running through the story too which balanced it out nicely. Honestly I wanted to see more of the setting, it was mentioned in passing but it never seemed to be as big a feature as it felt like it should have been. That is something I felt the book was overall, the story was okay but each of the elements could have been explored more. For me, if I read romance I like a good build up, this book didn’t allow for that.

Hot Dog Girl Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The two main characters in this book were Elouise and Seeley who are best friends. For the first half of this book I loved the characters, they had well thought out distinct personalities but by the time it got to the second half of the book I couldn’t understand their motivations anymore and for me personally there seemed to be a lot of actions that came out of nowhere and I lost any connection I had to the characters.

Hot Dog Girl Writing and Dialogue

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was definitely a high point for this novel. The writing style changed depending on the tone it was creating and that really helped me as a reader sense the emotions that would be felt.

Hot Dog Girl Overall

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I gave this book three stars overall because it was an okay story but I wasn’t as invested in it as I think I could have been.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:

* She’s landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog.
* Her crush, the dreamy Diving Pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou’s never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after.
* Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who’s always been up for anything, suddenly isn’t when it comes to Lou’s quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou’s scheme to get close to Nick.
* And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland–ever–unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.

Jennifer Dugan’s sparkling debut coming-of-age queer romance stars a princess, a pirate, a hot dog, and a carousel operator who find love–and themselves–in unexpected people and unforgettable places.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

guide dogs

Getting Started With The Guide Dogs

Happy Friday bookish people! I hope you’re all having a good day today. Okay, so I know I usually post bookish related posts on Fridays, but I thought it might be interesting for other people, especially people who are visually impaired and who might be thinking about getting started with guide dogs to know what has happened so far in my process.

For today I am going to talk about what happened when I first got in touch with the guide dogs team.

So, I began this process back in November 2021. It had been on my mind a lot for the past year or so and I’d often had family members and friends say to me ‘why haven’t you applied yet?’ especially as my sight started to get worse and I lost the sight in my left eye. For me it was one of those things where I hadn’t accepted it, I didn’t want to accept that this was how I was always going to be now. I’d never had good sight but each time I lost a bit more it was like everything had to change and it got pointed out more often how much help I needed. I often felt like I was just another job on everyone’s list because it wasn’t just I’m going out to see my friends anymore, it was always I’m going out but I have to be with at least one person and they have to look after me and it was talked about all the time like ‘look how much I have to do to look after you’, that’s the way it always felt with people. So I didn’t want to accept it, I’m not happy about it accepting it now but it came to a point where I just said to myself, look at yourself and admit that you need to see what other types of help could be out there for you. That’s when I got in touch with Guide Dogs.

The way I did it was through an online form on http://www.guidedogs.org.uk on the getting support page. From there I had to wait for someone to get back in touch with me by email. I have to admit, I forgot a little bit that I had put in the form until the email came, even though it was only a few days. When I did get the email is when all my anxiety started to kick in, I had to book in a telephone conversation – the first of two official telephone conversations as it turned out – and I absolutely hate talking on the phone. I can’t hear properly and I get really flustered so I didn’t really want to do it. But deep down I knew that I had to.

The day of the first phone call I was very nervous and it ended up taking about 50 minutes. There were questions about my medical history, what my eyesight is like and also what I was actually looking for from this service. I originally didn’t know that there were other services they would offer other than the guide dog but I wanted to go into the whole process with a completely open mind and that’s what I told them, I only wanted to go through with the whole process if it was definitely the right thing for me.

So, the first phone call happened and it felt good to discuss why I was starting the process with someone who had no bias on the outcome. The next step was having the second phone call which was with a member of the closest team to me which happened to be Exeter. This phone call was pretty much the same questions but more in depth if that makes sense. The phone calls were basically making sure they had all the information about me they needed to be sure that I had a visual impairment and that they would have services that could help me.

After the second phone call came the first in person meeting, which I will be posting about next Friday!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Cecily by Annie Garthwaite

Happy Monday bookish people! Today I am bringing you my book review for Cecily by Annie Garthwaite.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will do my best to not include spoilers. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Cecily Plot:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I am a huge fan of history from the 1300s to the 1600s and this book was the perfect read for historical fiction of this period. I originally didn’t know much about Cecily Neville, but now I feel like I know every heartache and every victory that she experienced. This book is about a powerful, ambitious and intelligent woman who broke tradition in so many ways, she took risks to protect and advance her family and I was absolutely sucked into this book from the very first page.

Cecily Characters:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book obviously is characters that were real people and this relied on extensive research by the author. What I liked is that these characters felt real, they didn’t feel like the author took the shell of the person from the research and turned them into what they needed for the book, it felt like you had fallen into a history book and you were watching every moment of the court take place.

Cecily Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

With the way this book is written, the way it had to be written because of the historical timeline, it could have felt more like non-fiction or like a letter in some cases but it didn’t, it was engaging and fluid.

Cecily Overall:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is my first five star book of this year and I can’t recommend it enough, I thought it was fantastic, a book I can read over and over again.

Blurb/Synopsis:

“Rebellion?”
The word is a spark. They can start a fire with it, or smother it in their fingertips.
She chooses to start a fire.

You are born high, but marry a traitor’s son. You bear him twelve children, carry his cause and bury his past.

You play the game, against enemies who wish you ashes. Slowly, you rise.

You are Cecily.

But when the King who governs you proves unfit, what then?

Loyalty or treason – death may follow both. The board is set. Time to make your first move.

Told through the eyes of its greatest unseen protagonist, this astonishing debut plunges you into the blood and exhilaration of the first days of the Wars of the Roses, a war as women fight it.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it! Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it?

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

Happy Monday bookish people! Today I am bringing you my book review of The Final Girl Support group by Grady Hendrix.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little bit about each one. I will do my best to not include spoilers. I hope you enjoy my book review.

The Final Girl Support Group Plot:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I picked this book up after seeing Gavin from How to train your gavin on youtube read it and then I finally got to read it for the 48 hour readathon I took part in during May. The prompt was a spooky book so I chose this one thinking it sounded like it would scare me quite a bit, and although I was hoping it wouldn’t scare me much I did hope it had that tense atmosphere that good mystery/thriller books have, and it did for the most part. Although I think the tension was lacking at the end, instead of building as the plot builds the tension seemed to be much less at the end than at the beginning.

I did enjoy the mystery aspect of the book although at times I struggled to connect the mystery to the girls and their events that caused them to be final girls.

The Final Girl Support Group Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’ll be honest, I have to give characters four stars because while I was reading the book I felt the character aspect was the strongest part, there were some characters I was rooting for, some I wanted to die in satisfying ways and some that were complete surprises. However, writing up this review now I don’t remember much about them or my thoughts of them so perhaps they aren’t as memorable as I thought they were.

The Final Girl Support Group Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I thought the writing was good because it felt like it kept up with the pace of the story mostly and also it did keep me quite engaged. Sometimes I felt that the writing was a bit younger than the story but it didn’t detract from it too much.

The Final Girl Support Group Overall:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I gave this book three stars overall because I felt that it was okay but maybe it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

Blurb/Synopsis:

A fast-paced, thrilling horror novel that follows a group of heroines to die for, from the brilliant New York Times bestselling author of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires.

In horror movies, the final girl is the one who’s left standing when the credits roll. The one who fought back, defeated the killer, and avenged her friends. The one who emerges bloodied but victorious. But after the sirens fade and the audience moves on, what happens to her?

Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, and it has defined every day of her life since. And she’s not alone. For more than a decade she’s been meeting with five other actual final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, putting their lives back together, piece by piece. That is until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette’s worst fears are realized–someone knows about the group and is determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece.

But the thing about these final girls is that they have each other now, and no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up. 

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it! Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it?

Book Reviews

Book Review: A Marvelous Light by Freya Marske

Happy Monday bookish people! Today I am bringing you the book review for A Marvelous Light by Freya Marske.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each of them. I will do my best to not include any spoilers. I hope you enjoy my book review.

A Marvelous Light Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book opened with a bang. The first chapter threw me right into the middle of a magical conflict over an unknown item and I then felt that I was learning about the world and the mystery along with the main character, Robin.

I really loved how this book followed the mystery, each time you think you know where the story is going to go next it switched direction and I thought this worked very well for keeping me engaged in the story. I have heard that this book is the first in a series and I could tell by the way it ends that there is plenty more to be explored in this world yet.

A Marvelous Light Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The two main characters that you get to see a lot of are Robin and Edwin. I absolutely loved both of these characters. Edwin kept referring to Robin as a man who would be the sort of ‘jock’ character at school, a wealthy man who played a lot of sports. I personally didn’t get this feeling from the character, to me he felt shy and reserved despite the story trying to present Edwin as this character.

I wished there had been more scenes to see their relationship be established in the beginning half of the book, I felt that their feelings towards each other changed within an instant at a certain point in the book and for me it happened too quickly.

A Marvelous Light Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I believe this book is a debut by this author and there is some feeling of this in the writing but overall I thought that the writing was easy to read and enjoyable.

A Marvelous Light Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because I thought it was a fun and mysterious opening book for a series that I definitely want to continue with.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Red White & Royal Blue meets Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell in debut author Freya Marske’s A Marvellous Light, featuring an Edwardian England full of magic, contracts, and conspiracies.

Robin Blyth has more than enough bother in his life. He’s struggling to be a good older brother, a responsible employer, and the harried baronet of a seat gutted by his late parents’ excesses. When an administrative mistake sees him named the civil service liaison to a hidden magical society, he discovers what’s been operating beneath the unextraordinary reality he’s always known.

Now Robin must contend with the beauty and danger of magic, an excruciating deadly curse, and the alarming visions of the future that come with it—not to mention Edwin Courcey, his cold and prickly counterpart in the magical bureaucracy, who clearly wishes Robin were anyone and anywhere else.

Robin’s predecessor has disappeared, and the mystery of what happened to him reveals unsettling truths about the very oldest stories they’ve been told about the land they live on and what binds it. Thrown together and facing unexpected dangers, Robin and Edwin discover a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles—and a secret that more than one person has already died to keep.

That’s it for this book review, i hope you all enjoyed it! Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it?