This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.
I was AWOL last week – as I was ill and in a rather dark place, I didn’t have much to report, other than a dreary recital of my misery. Fortunately, I am now recovering and fit once more for civilised company. I have finally completed Mantivore Warrior which has contributed to feeling so bleak – I always struggle once I’ve finished writing a book and as this is the end of the series, it’s a double whammy. But at the same time, I’m also glad to see it done.
Himself is also recovering from a heavy cold. The weather has mirrored our mood – February proved to be the wettest on record, and after day after day of pelting rain and grey skies felt neverending. Daffodils and primulas now flowering in the garden are brave splinters of sunshine in the winter gloom…
Last week I read:
Death of a Bean Counter – Book 12 of the Maggy Thorsen mysteries by Sandra Balzo
Maggy Thorsen’s head is spinning thanks to partner Sarah Kingston’s latest idea – selling luxe espresso machines in their Wisconsin coffeehouse, Uncommon Grounds. But Maggy soon faces a far bigger problem when her fiancé, sheriff Jake Pavlik, makes an official call on the coffeehouse’s star barista, Amy Caprese. Amy’s wealthy new beau, investment adviser Kip Fargo, has been shot dead in his bed – and Amy is the last known person to see him alive…
This is an entertaining whodunit featuring official nosy-parker Maggy, who decides to unofficially discover who killed Kip, despite being engaged to the local sheriff. Review to follow.
AUDIOBOOK Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess…
I was blown away by Circe last year. So treated myself to the Audible version of this one and I wasn’t disappointed. The writing is lyrically beautiful without losing pace or compromising the nuanced characterisation. And despite knowing the ending, I was gripped throughout. Review to follow.
Feathertide by Beth Cartwright
Marea was born to be different – a girl born covered in the feathers of a bird, and kept hidden in a crumbling house full of secrets. When her new tutor, the Professor, arrives with his books, maps and magical stories, he reveals a world waiting outside the window and her curiosity is woken. Caught in the desire to discover her identity and find out why she has feathers fluttering down her back like golden thistledown, she leaves everything she has ever known and goes in search of the father she has never met.
The writing is lyrically beautiful and the setting and worldbuilding is wonderful, but I did feel the pacing and narrative needed more work. Review to follow.
The Last Protector – Book 4 of the Lovett and Marwood series by Andrew Taylor
Brother against brother. Father against son. Friends turned into enemies. No one in England wants a return to the bloody days of the Civil War. But Oliver Cromwell’s son, Richard, has abandoned his exile and slipped back into England. The consequences could be catastrophic.
James Marwood, a traitor’s son turned government agent, is tasked with uncovering Cromwell’s motives. But his assignment is complicated by his friend – the regicide’s daughter, Cat Lovett – who knew the Cromwells as a child, and who now seems to be hiding a secret of her own about the family.
I read the stormingly good first book in this series, Ashes of London – see my review – and so was thrilled to see this one appear on Netgalley – and be approved to read it. I inhaled it, finding it impossible to put down. Review to follow.
A Dying Fall – Book 5 of the Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths
Ruth’s old friend Dan Golding dies in a house fire. But before he died Dan wrote to Ruth telling her that he had made a ground-breaking archaeological discovery. Could this find be linked to his death and who are the sinister neo-Nazi group who were threatening Dan? Ruth makes the trip to Blackpool to investigate, wary of encroaching on DCI Harry Nelson’s home ground. Soon Ruth is embroiled in a mystery that involves the Pendle Witches, King Arthur and – scariest of all – Nelson’s mother.
This series is one of my favourite whodunits – see my reviews of The Crossing Places, The Janus Stone and A Room Full of Bones – yet again, Griffiths provided an excellent adventure, while continuing the fascinating dynamic between her main characters. Review to follow.
My posts last week:
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce
Friday Faceoff featuring Skeleton Crew by Stephen King
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of Night Train to Murder – Book 8 of the Ishmael Jones series by Simon R. Greene
Thank you for visiting, reading, liking and/or commenting on my blog – I hope you have a wonderful week.
Glad you’re starting to feel better, Sarah; daffodils are always helpful! I know I enjoyed A Dying Fall, which reminds me, I need to check and see when another book will come out in the Ruth Galloway series!
Thank you for your kind sympathy, Becky:). I really love daffodils – they are one of my favourite flowers. I think the Ruth Galloway series is now in double figures – I’ve some catching up to do.
I enjoyed the Ruth Galloway books I’ve read, but I need to catch up!
I can relate to feeling gloomy…there is something in the “air” that feels crushing…ah, yeah, the nasty threat of that coronavirus! Let’s beat it by staying safe.
Enjoy your week, and here are my WEEKLY UPDATES
Oh yes – I need to catch up on the Ruth Galloway series, too!
Yes – staying safe by washing hands and not touching our faces unnecessarily. Which we should be all doing, anyway! Have a great week, Laurel.
My husband and I were feeling poorly yesterday, so we decided to stay in today. I’m glad. I think we both needed some rest. I hope you are both feeling better, too.
So glad to hear you liked Song of Achilles so much. I have that one as an audiobook here. I’m waiting for the next long drive to start it.
Congrats on finishing your book!
Thank you, Deb. Oh, I hope you love the audiobook version of The Song of Achilles half as much as I did – it was a complete joy to listen to:)).
I hope you both are feeling a lot better today, Deb.
Feeling ill is never a good time with less energy and I feel less confidence when ill. Congrats on finishing your book! It’s a bit weird to finish a big project and to figure out the next direction I think. I hope you have a wonderful week, at least you seem to be getting in some reading!
Anne – Books of My Heart
Thank you, Anne. It is always very emotional to finish a big ongoing project that I’ve been working on for months – and suddenly it’s like a group of friends have left me. And yes – at least I managed to lose myself between covers other than mine:))
I’m sorry you haven’t been feeling well, but glad that you are recovering. Your books look really good. Enjoy and I hope this is a good week!
Thank you for your kind good wishes, Yvonne:). Yes – despite feeling dire, I did have a really good reading week.
I’m sorry to hear you weren’t feeling well last week, but I’m glad to hear you’re on the upswing. I really enjoyed The Song of Achilles when I read it last year. Circe is the one I still need to read. It’s on my list for this year and I’m determined to get to it after seeing only rave reviews for it.
I loved Circe every bit as much as I enjoyed The Song of Achilles – I look forward to hearing what you think of it:)
Glad to know you are recovering, hopefully Spring will bring sunshine soon. At least we have books!
Wishing you a great reading week
Thank you, Shelleyrae – and you’re so right about the books – they’ve been something of a lifesaver, recently:))
There is nothing better to pick up one’ mood than seeing the first spring flowers: after a rainy and cold winter they are welcome indeed! And I hope your health keeps improving!!! 🙂
Thank you for your kind good wishes, Maddalena:)
I’m so sorry to hear you were ill and gloomy but am hoping things are feeling a bit better. The daffodils are beautiful. It got really warm here and the daffodils bloomed and then it froze so it was a terrible year for them. I’m very sad but I have high hopes for the tulips – we will see how that goes! I need to get back to the Ruth Galloway series. I read the first book and enjoyed it but it’s one of those series that I never got back to for whatever reason. Have a great week!
Thank you for your kind good wishes – and yes! Daffodils are wonderful – but even they have their limited – I hope you have better luck with the tulips.
Yes – I must admit I’m very impressed with the Ruth Galloway series – it’s so very different:). And I hope that you, too, have lovely week.
I’m sorry you’ve been sick too. It can definitely mess with you! Glad you’re feeling better now though. Feathertide by Beth Cartwright sounds interesting.
Have a great week and happy reading.
Thank you, Maureen – yes, I’ve been feeling quite grim… Feathertide is a really interesting and rather beautiful read. I hope you, too, have a lovely week.
Despite the cold weather I can see spring flowers everywhere. Somehow they give me hope. It is so beautiful to see them although I know that around easter we won´t have them anymore.
Spring flowers are my favourite, too! We have already had the witchhazel and mahonia flowering in the garden…
I loved Song of Achilles. It feels almost deceptively simple in the way it evokes the feel and time of place.
Rain is so bloody awful isn’t it! But, you have your lovely sunshine blooms to make up for it all.
Yes – now we have splashes of yellow in the garden, it isn’t feeling quite so desperate:)). And I think Miller is an amazing author.
Feathertide sounds a beautiful premise! I’m intrigued to learn more about what happened in the pages.