Reviews, Vlogs

The Woman in the Library

In every person’s story, there is something to hide…

The ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quiet, until the tranquility is shattered by a woman’s terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who’d happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer.

What a week I have had! I had planned to read and Vlog a specific book but I ended up hating it. Luckily, I was in a position to be able to pick up another book and The Woman in the Library really did deliver! I had planned to take this book to the library but it was closed, however I still had a fantastic experience with this book.

This book definitely deserved a dedicated vlog!

I read this book in under 24 hours. I was just so invested and eager to find out what was going to happen next. This is the first book I’ve selected from my 23 books in 2023 pile and I’m starting strong. I am a huge fan of murder mysteries and feel that this book gave me something extra and really felt fresh and exciting. I utterly adored this book and highly recommend it.

Vlogs

January TBR

With the start of a new year comes the start of a new way of selecting my monthly TBR. I’ve been working on this game for a good while and I’m ready to beta test it and I had a great time doing so!

I’m very excited about this TBR!

Basically I roll the dice and select a prompt based on the colour of the square that I landed on. This resulted in a pretty excellent looking TBR stack for January.

This is still in test mode while I iron out any major issues. For now, I’m kind of loving it!

Vlogs, Wrap Ups

A Year of Reading Agatha Christie

This year I participated in Read Christie again this year and it was so much fun having a set read to enjoy. I also enjoyed being able to chat about each read when the month came to an end.

Of course, I had to rank them. Nobody asked for this but I did it anyway. So I have ranked all twelve of the Read Christie picks from least to most favourite. The top 5 spots were exceptionally difficult to determine but I’m happy with the positioning.

This pile of books was very heavy!

I will be participating in Read Christie again in 2023 and I’m so excited that next year will be themed around methods and motives which I think is going to be really fun.

My first pick for Read Christie 2023
Reviews, Scottish Reads, Vlogs

Two Wintery Murder Mystery Collections

I will accept murder mystery collections in lieu of turtle doves! I received Midwinter Murder by Agatha Christie last Christmas from my parents but I didn’t manage to get it read before the end of December so put it aside for this year. I know I could have read it after then but it included some Christmas stories and I don’t like reading Christmas tales outside of November/December.

Squeezing in some festive murder mysteries

I managed to finish that book way quicker than expected so had time for a second book. I had recently picked up a copy of Christmas is Murder by Val McDermid. This was to be my first book McDermid book and this was the right choice.

I have a sneaky suspicion that both of these books will make it onto future December reread reading piles!

Reviews, Vlogs

Reading Festive Poirot Novels

I haven’t been feeling super festive lately. With Christmas fast approaching, I was keen to try to get myself into the festive spirit. This meant that I read not one but two Poirot novels. My two favourite festive Murder mystery collections (for now as I do have two more short story collections I plan to read before Christmas).

Trying to feel festive with Poirot

I’m often at my most content with a good murder mystery and this was such a delightful reading experience. I may be feeling a little festive now.

Vlogs, Wrap Ups

November Wrap Up

November didn’t get off to the best start for me. I found myself in a big reading slump and just couldn’t concentrate for long and didn’t feel compelled to pick up any books. I knew it was coming, I could feel a reading slump on the air!

The slump started to ease towards the middle of the month and thanks to that, and to audiobooks which accounted for almost half of my reads, I managed to get through 11 books. I know that this is a great number of books to get through in a month but I had such grand reading plans for November, instead I went full mood reader.

My Wrap Up and Stats

I loved

Ginger and Me – Elissa Soave https://kapowskireads.com/2022/11/26/wendy-and-me/

The Gloaming – Kirsty Logan https://kapowskireads.com/2022/11/05/the-gloaming/

One Dark Window – Rachel Gillig* https://kapowskireads.com/2022/11/14/finding-a-new-favourite-and-book-haul/

I liked

An Act of Foul Play – T E Kinsey* https://kapowskireads.com/2022/11/16/an-act-of-foul-play/

Library of the Dead – T.L. Huchu https://kapowskireads.com/2022/11/23/library-of-the-dead/

A Suspension of Mercy – Patricia Highsmith https://kapowskireads.com/2022/11/09/a-suspension-of-mercy/

Not For Me

The Cloisters – Katy Hays*

The Rats – James Herbert

Reread

4:50 from Paddington- Agatha Christie

Dracula – Bram Stoker

Non-Fiction

Urbanshee- Siaara Freeman*

*#gifted

Reviews, Vlogs

A Week of Murder Mysteries

I have been in a reading slump. This explains the lack of reviews being posted, I’ve just been struggling to concentrate and actually read.

This week I’m feeling like I might be on the upswing and I’m trying not to get too giddy…but I’m a little giddy about it!

I decided to give myself a whole week of reading murder mysteries, since those are some of my favourite books. Even if I got through just one book, I felt like this was a guarantee of a good week of reading. So that’s what happened, I read murder mysteries for a whole week and I had a great time!

I also managed to read more than one book which really was fantastic!

I’m absolutely delighted at being able to actually make vlog this week
Reviews

An Act of Foul Play

November 1911. Lady Emily Hardcastle is celebrating her birthday by seeing a play at the Duke’s Theatre in Bristol with her maid and confidante, the inimitable Flo. Act One is a triumph. Then Act Two opens with a body on stage—a real one. One of the cast has been brutally murdered during the interval.

When other matters get in the way of Inspector Sunderland overseeing the case himself, he asks the ever-resourceful Lady H to keep a watchful eye on the suspects—and his police colleagues. Rustling up some cunning disguises of their own, she and Flo are soon in deep cover among the cast and crew, pulling back the curtain on some shocking secrets and rivalries…

The problem is, everyone seems to have a motive, and everyone seems to have an alibi…In this locked-room mystery in which nothing is as it seems, the amateur sleuths need to put on the performances of their lives if they’re to stand a chance of shining a spotlight on the truth…

I love the Lady Hardcastle series so imagine my joy at being able to get my wee mitts on a copy of the newest instalment on NetGalley! This book whizzed to the front of my tbr queue.

I thought that this book was just so fun! Yes it was a murder mystery but it was a very light and fluffy one. While this is book 9 of an existing series, I strongly feel like this book could work as a standalone. Anything you need to know about the characters has been included. I do enjoy that in a series, where it doesn’t matter if you remember the previous editions.

The double act of Lady Hardcastle and Flo (who I decided long ago was her lover and I’m going with this) was just so fun. I love their dynamic and the way that the interact with each other. It’s such a caring partnership that they have and you can tell how much they care about each other. In this book, Flo’s twin sister arrives for a visit and some identical twin high jinx ensued.

The theatre troupe was jam packed with suspects which is something that I want from a murder mystery. I want options for my suspects! It felt like everyone had a motive and I really enjoyed trying to put the case together. I did guess the murderer and motive though. I feel that there was one chapter that made it so obvious who the villain of the story was. That was a little disappointing because I’d been really enjoying the book up until then. I did enjoy the sheer volume of motives supplied, the theatre troupe was so interesting. I loved the drama of their relationships!

There was a wee side quest of Lady Hardcastle and Flo which was just as fun as their big theatre case. Although this one got me in the feels a little.

This was a quick and enjoyable read and I’m still very much into this series. Huge thank you to NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Reviews

A Suspension of Mercy

Sydney Bartleby has killed his wife, Alicia—at least he has thought about it, compulsively, over and over again, plotting schemes, designing escapes, forging alibis. Of course he has; he’s a mystery-script writer. But when Alicia takes a long, unannounced vacation, Sydney seizes the opportunity to perfect his artistic method.

I bought this book on a whim! I was buying some books and had budgeted a certain amount to spend that day and still had budget left for one more book purchase, so I picked this one up as it sounded very interesting and I love a murder mystery! I later learned that this author also wrote Strangers on a Train. I remember reading Strangers on a Train, when I was possibly too young to be reading Strangers on a Train, and really enjoying it. So I was very excited to read it. I do wish that I hadn’t known that it was the same author as I maybe had higher expectations but I did still enjoy it.

Every character in this book was awful. All of them. Even the nice, wee old lady neighbour. I can’t remember the last time I read a book where everyone was terrible, there’s usually someone to root for. Someone to support but not in this book. It was actually quite therapeutic being able to just get all my venom out towards these characters (I’m not particularly venomous but it was nice).

Sydney was an ass. Just an ass. He was selfish, he was ignorant, obnoxious, abusive…he was so easy to hate. He was so focussed on having his scripts accepted for tv that he was utterly neglectful of the mere existence of others. He clearly hated his wife despite only being married for a very short length of time.

Alicia was also a terrible person but to a far lesser extent than Sydney. She was cruel and manipulative. Almost a perfect pairing but still, she deserved better than Sydney who deserved nobody.

I really enjoyed the plot of Alicia just disappearing. It felt realistic that Sydney wouldn’t worry or show any concern at all and just enjoy living as a bachelor. Did I mention that he was an ass? He got himself into sticky situations by trying to be clever. He acted like he was the smartest person in the room and this was his downfall as he got caught up in his web of lies. He looked so guilty! However, he was so focussed on his writing that he didn’t even realise how much trouble he was in.

This was a tough book to rate because I really enjoyed the plot but I hated the characters. I didn’t care whether Sydney did it or not because he’s a character and not a real person. If he were real then I’d definitely want him to receive fair treatment and justice. But this was fiction so I was ok with not caring whether he was actually guilty or not.

The last third of this book was utterly ridiculous. It just went too far and was completely unbelievable. I didn’t really enjoy the ending as I felt like it was tied up so quickly which just seemed to easy. It was an overall enjoyable book (although there are some extremely dated terms due to the age of the book) but the ending ruined it for me. I’m still keen to see how I get on with some of the author’s other works though!

Vlogs

My Favourite Agatha Christie Book

I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie! I’ve loved a cosy Murder mystery since I was probably way too young to be reading them but it’s Agatha who I love the most.

November puts me in the mood for cosy mysteries, so I thought I would share my top five Agatha Christie books. Each of these can be read and enjoyed with no previous knowledge of Agatha Christie. If you have a favourite murder mystery, please let me know

My wee vlog

I have a mission to cultivate my own full collection of her releases and it’s going ok, I’m quickly running out of space! For now, I have a skinny bookshelf full but I don’t I’ll need to do some shuffling since there’s a new hardback being released soon and I need it!