Crimson Snow and Sunday Silence for #BriFri

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Christmas and murder mysteries, they go hand-in-hand, right? Crimson Snow is the selected book for the Kindle English Mystery Club. This volume of short stories is perfect for the mystery lover during a hectic holiday season. You can read a story quickly. This is part of the British Library Crime Classics, the short story collection. There were authors I am not familiar with and I enjoyed most of the stories but none were brilliant. You can see the surprise ending fairly well. The Christmas ghost story was great.

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Sunday Silence by Nicci French was excellent.  I think I made a mistake reading this one first.  Most likely I read spoilers relating to previous books in this series. Once I started this book I realized I liked the style and the plot so I’m planning on reading the other books such as Blue Monday and Tuesday’s Gone. Certainly I will give those a go in 2018 and read more by this husband and wife team of authors.
From the first page you jump right into the story, no lagging around hoping it gets interesting. The police are called to Frieda’s house as a body has been discovered under her floorboards. It’s someone Frieda knows.

It won’t be the first murder in this book, we have abductions thrown in there too. The writing style captured my attention, grabbed me from the beginning. Obviously there was prior character and relationship development in the earlier books but that didn’t leave me bewildered at all. As the police investigate and Frieda comes up with her own theories tensions build between them.

I notice the food references in books, even if they aren’t foodie books, so here are a few:

“He returned to the kitchen, which was full of steam, the smell of potato cakes, barley broth and spicy lamb stew.”

“He started working on an artisanal cheese stall on the South Bank and became something of a cheese zealot, offering soft wedges wrapped in waxed paper as gifts wherever he went”

“Jack had cooked spaghetti. Do you want some? He asked hopefully, I made enough for an army. “I’d love some, said Frieda, not because she was hungry but to see the look of pleasure on his face.”

Jack planned a risotto and had all the ingredients in his backpack; red onions, dried mushrooms, Parmesan and even a small jar of truffle sauce that someone had given him at the market in return for a circle of soft cheese.”

Josef ordered the full English breakfast: fried eggs, two rashers of streaky bacon, a large pink sausage, fried bread, fried tomatoes and mushrooms.

The Risotto was calling me but I went for comfort food – Spaghetti Bolognese.  Can’t go wrong, you won’t go hungry.

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Linking to:

The Kindle English Mystery Book Club

December Foodies Read

 Joy’s British Isles Friday

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Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land

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This is a psychological thriller which I couldn’t put down.  It was disturbing, chilling, even paced and I read it in one day.  The main character is Annie, later renamed Milly, as she is placed in a protective environment after turning her mother over to the police.  Milly’s mother is a serial killer, her victims all young children.  I am thankful it wasn’t overly graphic when they described the murder of the children.

Milly is fifteen years old and is placed in the home of Mike, a therapist who is writing a book about Milly and her mother.  Milly was not told he would be documenting their therapy sessions for publication, accidentally discovering his notes one afternoon. It’s hard to share too much without giving spoilers.

One thing I wish the author had resolved was the fate of Milly’s brother.  He was  fleetingly mentioned as part of reason Milly’s mother started killing children.  The brother was charged with arson and I suppose incarcerated, but his story isn’t delved into near enough, nor what happened to him. The end was, by the time I was over three-quarters into the book, predictable.  Still chilling though.

I read this book with the Kindle British Mystery Book Club  as the November main group feature.  This is also another one ticked off for my New Author challenge.

Linking up with  Joy for British Isles Friday.
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The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards

devilsWorkThe Devil’s Work was described as a psychological thriller so I was on board.  At first I wondered about the description as the characters seemed fairly normal (with the exception of Simon).   Our main character, Sophie Greenwood,  was recruited to work at Jackdaw Publishing, her dream job.

Initially I felt Sophie bordered on boring with her constant checking up on her daughter and husband.   She was a stay-at-home mum for 4 years so perhaps that worry and concern is meant to be conveyed.  Edwards nailed that perfectly.

Once I got into the novel it was clear there were a few mind games going on.  There was a split time frame shifting to Sophie’s college life, explaining her obsession to work for Jackdaw Publishing.

In the college time frame you see how Sophie met Jasmine and how they became very close.  It was later discovered Jasmine was the granddaughter of Franklin Bird, head and founder of Jackdaw Books.  (He’s a bit creepy there in the beginning and didn’t get much better as I progressed through the novel. ) Sophie never traded on her friendship with Jasmine to get introduced for employment opportunities with Jackdaw, instead steering clear of the subject since Jasmine was clearly troubled by her family connection and her grandfather in particular. Stay tuned for that once you read this book.

So, first day of work for Sophie and the mind games slowly begin. She is immediately introduced to Franklin Bird and he’s just weird.  I share his enthusiasm for a gin and tonic but otherwise, let me steer clear of this guy.  Sophie asks one of her team members about access to the basement library and hears a story about a suicide and haunting.  More creepiness.

Her predecessor, Miranda, left with no notice and there is a mystery about that straight away.  If you read mysteries or thrillers you’ll think something is fishy about a person who flat out disappears.  Sophie is assigned to Miranda’s desk and a locked drawer reveals very old food and loads of cockroaches. Cassie, one of the people Sophie supervises, appears to be sabotaging her with her ambitious and aggressive manner, leaving Sophie out of the loop on important issues.  The list goes on.

The story ramps up more with accusations of sexual harassment, a hacked Twitter account and offensive post portraying Sophie’s husband in a very bad light, a stalker, arson and more.  This book has it all including a chilling wrap up.

I read this book with the Kindle British Mystery Book Club, also as for my New Author challenge.

Linking up with Girlxoxo for the October theme of psychological mess-with-your-mind games and Joy for British Isles Friday.
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Broadchurch and The Kindle English Mystery Book Club

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Today I wanted to share my excitement over the pending release of Broadchurch (season three) and a new British mystery club I recently discovered.

Season one captivated me with the story line, the music and the starring cast of David Tennant and Olivia Colman.   We caught up with the second season and are now eagerly awaiting our local library to catalog the third.  I’m second in line for the DVD so I’m sure we’ll binge watch it the week it’s available for pick-up.

 

As for bookish things,  I am geared up for the Kindle English Mystery Book Club.

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As a Goodreads member I’ve been looking at this group  for a while and finally joined up.  If you are a fan of British authors and mysteries, this is a great group.  There are many suggestions for authors and crime novels so you’ll always have good choices.  This is helping me discover new books, way more than I can read this year ….so far.

By way of a poll on the site they select two new books to read for the month.  One is a value read, meaning it can be purchased at a good price.  For September they read Tana French’s novel The Trespasser.  As I had read that one previously I decided not to join in at that time.  The value read was Agatha Christie’s novel Sparkling Cyanide.

Coming up for October we will be reading The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards and the value read is The Whistable Pearl Mystery by Julie Wassmer.   A discussion thread opens the following month.  Looking forward to that as these authors are new to me.

So, are you a fan of Broadchurch and are you looking forward to the latest season?

What new authors have you discovered lately?  Please share 🙂

Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday

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