Archive for the ‘books’ Category


Author: Frances Brody

Published: 6th October 2016
Reviewed: 6th October 2016

Copy supplied by Piatkus / Little, Brown Book Group in return for an honest review



Nothing ever happens in August, and tenacious sleuth Kate Shackleton feels like she deserves a break. Heading off for a long-overdue holiday to Whitby, she visits her school friend Alma who works as a fortune teller there.

Kate had been looking forward to a relaxing seaside sojourn, but upon arrival discovers that Alma’s daughter Felicity has disappeared, leaving her mother a note and the pawn ticket for their only asset: a watch-guard. What makes this more intriguing is the jeweller who advanced Felicity the thirty shillings is Jack Phillips, Alma’s current gentleman friend.

Kate can’t help but become involved, and goes to the jeweller’s shop to get some answers. When she makes a horrifying discovery in the back room, it soon becomes clear that her services are needed. Met by a wall of silence by town officials, keen to maintain Whitby’s idyllic façade, it’s up to Kate – ably assisted by Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden – to discover the truth behind Felicity’s disappearance.

And they say nothing happens in August . . .

My Thoughts & Review:

When I think of cozy mystery novels I instantly think of the work of Agatha Christie and her endearing creation Miss Marple.  So when I encountered this book I was inquisitive to see what sort of detective Kate Shackleton would turn out to be.  The idea of the story being set in the 1920s in Whitby was another factor in my interest in this book.

Kate Shackleton heads to Whitby for a well deserved break, but as is the case for most private investigators, trouble is never far away.  Not long after arriving Mrs Shackleton pulls on her investigating hat and begins to look into the disappearance of her god-daughter Felicity, which subsequently leads her to the discovery of a dead body in the local jeweller’s shop.

This being the first encounter I’ve had with this character I was intrigued to see how her investigations would progress, what methods she would employ to get to the truth as well as how the limitations of the era for females would impact upon her.  Death at the Seaside is the eighth outing for Kate Shackleton, and I would be quite keen to catch up with her in one of the earlier books to see how she has progressed but also to enjoy this style of mystery again.
Cozy mysteries may not be for everyone, some people might prefer their crime thrillers to be fast paced, action packed and highly dangerous, but despite not being any of those things, this book is still very good.  The mystery element is engaging, the story itself is well written, the characters are incredibly well created and interesting and the pace is steady.

An enjoyable change of pace, and a lovely easy read.

You can buy a copy of Death at the Seaside here.



About The Author:

Frances Brody is the author of the Kate Shackleton mysteries, as well as many stories and plays for BBC Radio, scripts for television and four sagas, one of which won the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin Award. Her stage plays have been toured by several theatre companies and produced at Manchester Library Theatre, the Gate and Nottingham Playhouse, and Jehad was nominated for a Time Out Award.


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The Little Shop of Happy Ever After

Author: Jenny Colgan
Published: 11 February 2016
Reviewed: 27 March 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy supplied by Little, Brown Book Group UK in return for an honest review

4 out of 5 Stars



Given a back-room computer job when the beloved Birmingham library she works in turns into a downsized retail complex, Nina misses her old role terribly – dealing with people, greeting her regulars, making sure everyone gets the right books for their needs. 
Then a new business nobody else wants catches her eye: owning a tiny little bookshop bus up in the Scottish highlands. No computers. Shortages. Out all hours in the freezing cold; driving with a tiny stock of books… not to mention how the little community is going to take to her, particularly when she stalls the bus on a level crossing…

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Where did August go?!  Own up, who stole it!?  Seems like we’d barely broken into the month and this is the last day of it!  Either that or I’ve been that busy I’ve not noticed it flying by.

It’s been a fun month though, I’ve started on a book blogging journey (you may have noticed the cleverly titled entries with “Book Review” in their title – bit of a giveaway eh!?), also been making an effort to continue going to the village cafe every Wednesday morning for a coffee, even more impressed as I swapped numbers with one of the other mums in the village so if I want to go to the Toddler’s Group she’ll meet me and we’ll go together so I won’t be going in alone (she’s a star, so lovely and just one of those people you can’t help but smile at when you see them).  And I volunteered to help out with an #bepbb on Twitter.

#bepbb for those that don’t know was the light bulb moment of Jetta, a lovely lass who has brought sunshine to a lot of people with her use of thinking of something postive that has happened to you that day.  Doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, whether you climbed Everest or you got to the bottom of the ironing pile, it all counts as something good that happened to you and you should share it with the world.   There are a group of people online who will take a turn “hosting” each night for #bepbb, and in a huge step towards building my confidence I volunteered to host on a Wednesday night! 
Seeing the tweets coming in from people saying what has made them happy that day helps me see that it’s not all doom and gloom out there, that there are wee nuggets of happiness out there if you  know where to look for them.  Sometimes my own #bepbb is something as simple as I had a lovely snuggle with my sleeping baby, or I got some housework done, but to me they mean the difference between a good day and a bad day.  Seeing the number of responses to #bepbb is fantastic, there are so many people participating now and it’s wonderful to see.  Why not pop past with your #bepbb any night between 2100 & 2200, just use the hashtag and one of the hosts will pick it up.

I’m in denial at the moment, it’s only 32 days until my daughter is 1 year old, how the hell did that happen?!  This time last year, we’d not long moved out to our wee village, I was waddling about with a MASSIVE bump and we were trying to slowly put some order in the chaos that was our new home, now 1 year on we’re decorating little bits here and there and planning a birthday party for our daughter.  She’s getting so grown up, she’s got 8 teeth, she crawls about and pulls herself up to standing at any opportunity and as soon as she’s mastered balance she will be walking…….I can’t quite believe it!  Part of me wants her to stay a teeny wee baby forever, but part of me is so excited to see what sort of person she grows into.  Who will she turn out like, will she be like her father and be able to turn her hand to most things – fix cars, set up the computer and router so that networks run properly in the house, build walls or just generally be fantastic.  Or will she take after me, who can do a few things well and attempts other things with great enthusiasm but little skill?  Hopefully she takes the best bits of us both and uses them to create the person she wants to be, but as long as she’s happy that’s all that matters.  Doesn’t matter if she’s a brain surgeon, a brick layer or a monkey trainer, as long as she’s happy with who she is and where she’s got to, I will be happy.  Of course, if she becomes a brain surgeon I will remind her that she need to look after her old mam and dad!

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The song jumped into my head the other day in one of those deep thinking philosophical moments.  Village life can be quite lonely, in a “you don’t see many people going about” sort of way, but then as it’s the school holidays I don’t suspect that many people will be in the village, instead opting for a summer break whilst they can.

Last week was one of those where you think about doing a whole list of things, but actually when it gets down to it, you do none of them but instead enjoy just doing what you can.  Monkey child is finding her feet, which as cute as it is, is somewhat slightly alarming now that nothing will be safe ever again!!  Poor dogs are running scared of the crawling monster that tries to chase them, I am her usual choice of climbing frame (oh joy!) and she is standing and pulling herself up at every opportunity that presents itself.  I did jokingly say to family that I think she’d be walking before she was 1, but I’d really like her to stop being all grown up and be my wee baby again hahaha
I’m still in disbelief that my little baby will be 1 in less than 2 months now, where has this past year gone!?

Did something brave today, came back from our usual walk round the village and decided that I’d go grab the car keys and we’d head to the next village to get cream for the red bit under the teething monster’s chin.  This is big for me, I don’t tend to get in the car unless I plan where I’m going, know exactly where I’m going, that there’s space to park and so on and so on (see a trend here!?) but anyway we did it, got in the car and headed to the pharmacy.  Cue the panic at the tight bends in the next village,  having to pull in between cars to let people passed on the narrow streets, then parking in a car park that was new and narrow so a 9 point turn was needed to turn the car round and park somewhere that no one else would park beside me haha but I did it, and it’s a victory for me.  It may seem silly, but I really am proud of that, it took courage to do it, and right now I’m low on courage.  There are too many “mood hoovers*” out there who would dampen that moment for me but to them, I say a resounding childish “pffffffffffffffffffffft!”

Whilst I was too lazy to blog anything last week I did stumble upon some interesting tweets and have offered to review a book on this ol’ blog.  Always toyed with the idea of writing reviews of the copious books I’ve read, so embarking on a literary journey as well as a rambling (sometimes knitted related) – wish me luck!

Once the copy of What Milo Saw arrives I’ll have a review posted asap!

*to quote a friend of mine, she hit the nail on the head with that phrase.

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