FICTION

A Mirror Murder by Helen Hollick

Category : Fiction

Genre : Cozy Murder Mystery

No. of Pages : 162 Pages

Format : E-Book    

Publication Date : January 13, 2021

Read Date : March 30, 2021

Rating : 5/5

Recommendation : Yes

“Why borrowers cannot put a book back where they got it from, and the right way round, is beyond me.”

Jan Christopher (will not reveal the full form of Jan) is a librarian & niece of Detective Chief Inspector Toby Christopher. When Detective Constable Laurie Walker is appointed to work under her uncle there’s a spark between the two – Love at first sight for walker.

But their love story takes a back seat when after a romantic movie date they find Mrs. Norris, a regular at Jan’s library, dead in her house. While the investigation goes on, Jan & Laurie do manage to catch up with each other, but it’s mostly for discussing the crime.

Meanwhile, there are a few “flashers” in the Epping Forest, enjoying “naturism” which is a harrasment to the onlookers, Jan & her aunt being the victims. A baby went missing from the pram as per the newspaper headlines. Also, Jan has her doubts that one of her colleagues is being inflicted to violence by her boyfriend & she actually wants to confirm the same.

The book has lived up to its genre of being a “cozy murder mystery” happening in the 1970s, with all the “whodunnit” vibes. The narration is done in two POVs – Jan & Walker’s. About the murder, there is not a single hint giving away the suspense until the author finally decides to unravel it. And, I won’t lie after giving me all the coziness the truth hit me like a cold wintery morning, it gave me tears. Jan’s own little sleuthing was fun to read, with her naiveness & flaws.

The warm romance between Jan & Walker is heart melting & it develops beautifully along with the plot with the little gestures of love here & there. I’ve liked all the four prime characters – Jan the most, she seemed so realistic. And, and who doesn’t enjoy a book that has a library in it with the main character as librarian?

This book is a short, quick & gripping one. There is so much happening & as a reader you want to know it all…quench that thirst soon.

All in all the author has done a stupendous work in just 162 pages.


About the Author :

First published in 1994, Helen Hollick became a USA Today Bestseller with her historical novel, The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK) with the sequel, Harold the King (US: I Am The Chosen King) being novels that explore the events that led to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Her Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy is a fifth-century version of the Arthurian legend, and she writes a nautical adventure/fantasy series, The Sea Witch Voyages. She is now branching out into the quick read novella, ‘Cosy Mystery’ genre with her new venture, the Jan Christopher Murder Mysteries, set in the 1970s, with the first in the series, A Mirror Murder (due to be published in early 2021) incorporating her, often hilarious, memories of working as a library assistant.

Her non-fiction books are Pirates: Truth and Tales and Life of A Smuggler. She lives in an eighteenth-century farmhouse in North Devon, runs Discovering Diamonds, a review blog for historical fiction, and occasionally gets time to write…

Social Media:

Purchase Links :

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3lnJd9C
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3czU5gx

FICTION

A Reaper At The Gates (#3 Ember Quartet) by Sabaa Tahir

Category : Fiction

Genre : YA Fantasy

No. of Pages : 458 Pages

Format : E-Book    

Publication Date : June 12, 2018

Read Date : April 5, 2021

Rating : 4.75/5

Recommendation : Yes, if you loved the previous two books, you will enjoy this too.

“Curse this world for what it does to the mothers, for what it does to the daughters. Curse it for making us strong through loss and pain, our hearts torn from our chests again and again. Curse it for forcing us to endure.”

How much more & how many more stories can Tahir spin off now in the third book? But she has & that too incredibly. This part begins with a glimpse into the Nightbringer’s past & boy, can you stop reading then?

Our three main characters – Elias, Helene & Laia keep the readers on three different reading tracks, intersecting time & again. Elias is again battling with himself – duty or humanity? His struggle, the choices he makes, the things he gives up every bit is acceptable. Helene has turned out to be the STRONGEST CHARACTER so far. Mask or not she is my favourite. She has shown a great deal of strength enduring so much pain & still not giving up on the vow she took. Laia has developed through each book, in this one trying to step into her mother’s shoes, in terms of the courage to fight the Nightbringer, for her people.

The Commandant – bits & parts of her not so harsh self in the past is revealed, but not in its entirety to give away anything. The truth about Avitas Harper is out & he is another character you have to keep your heart safe from.

There are so many plot twists some will leave you gaped, others teary eyed & few so basic but definitely overlooked by the reader right from the start. With a fourth POV that of the Nightbringer the picture of the past happenings gets clear. Oh & this part of the book has so much of the supernatural elements making it eerie sometimes. There are a lot of action packed scenes. Tahir leaves us scheming our own conspiracy theories for things unsaid & you will love her for making your heart feel all the pain she’s giving her characters.

I can’t wait to delve into the last part to see how every story gets a closure.

BOOKISH BLABBER

March 31, 2021

Yes, it’s time to ask the three Ws. I missed asking these for the last few Wednesdays but I’m back again. This is a bookish meme revived by Taking On a World of Words .

The three Ws of this meme ask :

Whaare you Currently Reading?

What book(s) have you Finished Reading Recently?

What do you think you’ll pick up as your Next Read?

Reaper At The Gates by Sabaa Tahir

This is Book #3 of Ember Quartet. I’m 25% through & waiting to see what lies ahead for Helene in this part. While Laia has a riddle to solve to stop the Nightbringer from attaining full power. Finding this part a teeny meeny, tad bit slower than it’s prequels.

Final Girls by Riley Sager

A plot that followed the “whodunnit” theme taking us back to the massacre that happened 10yrs ago. The revelation was mind boggling & I really enjoyed discussing this with my Insta buddies. You can read the full review here.

A Mirror Murder by Helen Hollick

Oh my god! This was such a cozy murder mystery, lived true to its genre. I read this one for an upcoming blog tour in April & am eager to write my review for this. Don’t we all love a book that has a library (that too as a primary location) & the main female character as a librarian? Hope my review can do justice to this beauty.

So, I’ve over committed myself for April, reading wise. But I’m going to put all my efforts to read as much as I can.

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

I’ve picked up this book as BOTM for April, for my virtual book club @feelthereadbookclub. We’ll be reading this book throughout the month with three book discussions at regular intervals. You can join the discussion by following the book club page on Instagram. This book is believed to be one of the best works of Ruth Ware so I’m giving it a try.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Reading this one as a part of a buddy read group on Instagram. A Classic after months & that too Dickens❤️. How could I say NO??! This book is also going to be read throughout the month of April followed by a group discussion in chat. I have not even read the blurb of this one. But I’m sure Dickens won’t be disappointing at all.

Jam Sessions by Jerry Harwood

This on is for an upcoming blog tour organized by Digital Reads Blog Tours. A middle grade book following a school boy Philip – new school, bullies & how he finds solace in the Jam Sessions where his writing creativity flows frewly based on prompts. But only, if his life was as good as these sessions.

Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

This too is for an upcoming blog tour organized by TheWriteReads. Girlfriends are all about sharing everything, even crushes. But when Kate & Anderson both develop feelings for the same guy, will this be the end of their friendship?


That’s all for this week’s WWW. What are yours? Drop a comment below!

Happy Reading until next time❤️

FICTION

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Category : Fiction

Genre : Psychological Thriller

No. of Pages : 342 Pages

Format : E-Book    

Publication Date : July 11, 2017

Read Date : March 23, 2021

Rating : 3.5/5

Recommendation : Yes

“Final Girl is film-geek speak for the last woman standing at the end of a horror movie.”

Ten years, since Quincy survived the horrendous massacre at Pine Cottage – the final girl. Putting all of that nightmare way behind her, she now lives with her boyfriend Jeff, indulges in baking & has Cooper, the cop who saved her life available at all times to help her. Her world is about to change when Lisa Milner another final girl is found dead & Samantha (Sam) Boyd a third final girl shows up at her door.

Is someone coming after the final girls? Why has Sam shown up at her doorstep after all these years? In trying to uncover the motive & culprit of Lisa’s death, Quincy is going to have to tap the long repressed memories of Pine Cottage & remember what exactly happened that night.

The plot follows a dual timeline, the present from Quincy’s POV & the Pine Cottage incident in third person. The narration is comprehensible. The plot develops at a really slow speed up to 60%, after which it picks up pace & piques the reader’s interest. Also, all of a sudden the narration regarding Pine Cottage stops halfway, to only begin again towards the later half.

For some reason I just couldn’t connect with Quincy’s character nor apprehend her relationship with Jeff who is a criminal defence lawyer by profession. On the other hand, Sam’s character with the twist towards the end becomes acceptable in all sense. I did like how Coop was portrayed & the cop-victim relationship he shared with Quincy.

The climax comes with a mind boggling twist, leaving you open mouthed. But again, I wasn’t able to digest a certain element of it. Nonetheless, the twists towards the end are worth the read.

Apart from the main plot line the story is also a reflection of how three final girls, the only survivors of three different massacres, deal with their trauma as they try to lead lives normally. Accepting the past, denying it & actually believing in ones self to be a SURVIVOR.

If psychological thrillers are one of your go to genres do give this a try.

Will be discussing this book with the #oppositesattractbookclub organized by @talesbysel & @kenzies.bookshelf in an Instagram group chat. Hope the discussion gives me new & different perspectives to the things I haven’t accepted.

Happy Reading until next time. ❤️

FICTION

A Torch Against The Night (#2 Ember Quartet) by Sabaa Tahir

Category : Fiction

Genre : YA Fantasy

No. of Pages : 452 Pages

Format : E-Book    

Publication Date : August 30, 2016

Read Date : March 19, 2021

Rating : 4.75/5

Recommendation : Yes, if you loved book 1, chances are you will enjoy this too.

“Failure doesn’t define you. It’s what you do after you fail that determines whether you are a leader or a waste of perfectly good air.”

Sabaa Tahir has just got more ruthless on the readers with this one. She’s like one of the “kehannis” (tale-spinner) from her book. Soft & building hopes & when you as a reader think “gosh finally” she’s going to pull the rug from beneath your feet, crash your heart to pieces till you shut the book, but leave you desperate enough to want read it to know how to soothe your now broken heart.

The plot continues from An Ember in the Ashes, both Laia & Elias with their own missions on hand & paths intertwined. Meanwhile, Serra has a new Emperor & a new Blood Shrike to function as the Emperor’s sword. The Commandant, Keris Veturia has become the superlative degree of tyranny & is on a mission to exterminate Scholars from the Empire. With a shift of power there always comes unhappy-probable successors, alliances to topple the new emperor, treason & the plot has all of it.

I can’t talk much about the plot for the fear of spoilers, so I’ll leave discussing the storyline here.

A new character is introduced Harper Avitas who is to report to Helene, but where his loyalties lie, is for the reader to explore. Keenan…. remember in my review of Book #1 I said I want to know him better? He’s all over in this part; his angry side, his soft side, his thought process everything. Elias is a much matured character now, with a strong determination & clear knowledge of what he wants. Laia’s character is still growing as the plot proceeds.

Love, care, support we get to witness all of it. But wait, there are 5432… super sonic shocks for your heart to bear as well. The narration is now done in three POVs – Elias, Laia & Helene & it gives a complete picture of everything that’s happening. I’m in love with Sabaa’s storytelling style, the flow of prose & affluent vocabulary.

You know now, that I’ve loved the sequel as well! And oh! We’re again at a cliffhanger & yet to verify an assumption or two. So Book #3, I’m coming for you!