Snapshot Reviews

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Towards the start of last week, the UK weather forecasts were promising a gloriously sunny weekend which I was very excited about, but alas that wasn’t quite the case! It remained warm and fairly dry though, despite all of the grim-looking clouds, so I can’t complain too much- and we got lots of bits and pieces done in our garden.

After a fairly slow reading start to June too, I’ve managed to get a fair bit of reading done as of late. This is mainly down to some longer-distance commuting for work last week and the fact that when I have been in the office I’ve not been especially busy. My Kindle is on the blink so that has at least given me the opportunity to read through lots of paperbacks that have been waiting on my shelves. These are a few from that set:

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt- Beth Hoffman; I read this on a long train journey for work, getting through it in a couple of hours. It’s twee and full of southern charm with some great, vivid characters but also manages to convey the darker side of the Deep South. It tells the story of a young girl who is sent to live with her estranged great aunt in Georgia when her mentally ill mother kills herself. Narrated by CeeCee herself, it is a book filled with strong, caring women and a novel I’m very glad I finally got around to reading, despite it being perhaps a bit contrived in parts. If anything, my only real complaint with this book was that I wish it had perhaps been a bit longer! 4 stars out of 5.

Jezebel- Eleanor De Jong; another one of those bargain supermarket books. I think I picked this one up in Sainsbury’s for a couple of quid. I was in the mood for some historical fiction (which doesn’t happen especially often for me) and this fitted the bill nicely. Set in 800-and-something BC it was a novel of treachery, romance and drama that I found it to be well-written and atmospheric. I also didn’t know too much about the mythology of Jezebel herself (other than how she is portrayed as something of a floozy!), so it was interesting to read about her and the authors notion of her bravery, independence and courage in leading the Israeli people. This book made me see the idea of Jezebel herself in a whole new light, though I did find some of the other characters to be a bit ‘pantomime villain’ in parts. Interestingly, the majority of male figures within this storyline were also portrayed to be very weak and easily led. 4 stars out of 5.

Loves Music, Loves to Dance- Mary Higgins Clark; though this book feels somewhat ‘dated’ in context now, it is still an interesting, albeit sinister look at the world of personal ads. When Darcy’s best friend Erin is killed after she answers a personal ad in a newspaper, it turns out she is just the latest in a long line of beautiful young women to fall victim to a serial killer with a very creepy M.O. Will Darcy herself be next? Pacey and full of tension, this is one of the better MHC books with a less-obvious perpetrator- I also reckon it would be interesting to bring this bang up to date and re-write it from an internet dating perspective! 4 stars out of 5. 

The Truth Will Out- Anna McPartlin; my first experience at reading this author and I found this book to be enjoyably escapist, though there possibly too many secondary characters for my tastes. All her life Harriet has felt like an outsider, distant from the rest of her family. It turns out that there is a very good reason for that. When she leaves her fiancé at the altar for the second time, her behaviour forces her parents to reveal to her some home truths that turn her world completely upside down. Part mystery, part romance with a dual-time narrative, this book had me pretty intrigued, wanting to know just what it was about Harriet’s past that had made her feel the way she did. 4 stars out of 5. 

The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken- Tarquin Hall; the third book in the Vish Puri detective series and unfortunately the weakest to date. Possibly I didn’t enjoy it quite so much as it focused predominantly on the world of cricket after a player’s father was unexpectedly poisoned? There just seemed to be too many characters and too many peripheral story threads in this one and it was also quite serious in tone. I read these kinds of books for escapism and this was just bogged down in a lot of extraneous detail. That aside, the descriptions of Indian food and culture are really wonderful, so I would like to read book four in the series to see if it gets back on form. 3 stars out of 5. 

At the moment I’m still listening to Douglas Adams on audio book on our morning commute to work (whenever we happen to travel via car) and I’ve just started reading Notes from the Underground by Dostoevsky.

Have a good week, everyone!  🙂

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