Poor blog has been well and truly neglected this month. I've managed to fit a bit more reading in this month but still not back to my usual amount of books. Poor amount of sewing done too as the elbow has flared up. I am well and truly behind with my book reviewing for the Historical Fiction challenge, I've read many more books than I've reviewed so I'll have to try and catch up with those at some point.
Every Secret Thing by Emma Cole (aka Susannah Kearsley) I've read quite a few Susannah Kearsley books lately – none of them are bad but some of them are better than others. I was curious to see how this one would be different as she writes it under a different name. It was definitely one of her better books.
The story blurb is "No one lives for ever. But the truth survives us all'. Kate Murray is deeply troubled. In front of her lies a dead man, a stranger who only minutes before had approached her wanting to tell her about a mystery, a long-forgotten murder. The crime was old, he'd told her, but still deserving of justice. Soon Kate is caught up in a dangerous whirlwind of events that takes her back into her grandmother's mysterious war-time past and across the Atlantic as she tries to retrace the dead man's footsteps. Finding out the truth is not so simple, however, as only a few people are still alive who know the story – and Kate soon realises that her questions are putting their lives in danger. Stalked by an unknown and sinister enemy, she must use her tough journalistic instinct to find the answers from the past – before she has to say goodbye to her future."
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The characters were well written and I liked both Kate and her Grandmother and thoroughly disliked the 'baddie' of the plot! An comfortable, enjoyable read with some interesting history that I didn't previously know about. (library book)
Review 7 for Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
The Empress of Ice Cream by Anthony Capella – I picked this up on a whim in the library one day. In spite of the fact that neither of the main characters are particularly pleasant people I really enjoyed this book. It was a change from the periods of history that I normally choose to read about and the history of ice cream making was interesting to read about – who knew that ice cream played such an important role in mattes of state at one point!
Here is the blurb : "FRANCE 1670. Carlo Demirco's mastery of the extraordinary new art of creating ice creams has brought him wealth, women, and a position at the court of Louis XIV. Then Carlo is sent to London, along with Louise de Keroualle, an impoverished lady-in-waiting. The most powerful ministers of two countries have decided that Louise is to be Charles II's new mistress, and will stop at nothing to make sure she submits. But Carlo too is fascinated by the enigmatic Frenchwoman.With the king's every pleasure the subject of plots and betrayals, and Carlo's only weapons his exquisite ice creams, soon he must decide …Where do his loyalties lie?" (library book)
Book 8 for the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde – back to his previous excellent writing, I ate this up in one bite and enjoyed every single crumb! This is Fforde's new series for children and there is more to come soon I think…can't wait! (library book)
The Death Maze, Relics of the Dead and The Assassin's Prayer by Arianna Franklin – catching up a little with overdue reviews here as the first of these books I read back in February! I hadn't come across this author until I reviewed the first book of this series for the Great Crime Caper. After reading that one I wanted to read the rest.
In book 2 – The Death Maze, the heroine Adelia is sent by the King to investigate the death of his favourite mistress and gets trapped and cut off in an abbey due to winter snows. Not as good as the first book but still an enjoyable read. (library book)
In book 3 – Relics of the Dead, Adelia is sent to investigate some corpses which have been long buried at Glastonbury Abbey and have recently become exposed following a fire and earthquake. Again, Adelia's life is in peril and she is saved by her lover the Bishop of St. Albans – that part of the storyline I found to have become a little tedious by now and wished for them to settle the matter of their forbidden love! Good story with some unexpected twists and turns. (library book)
In book 4 – Assassin's Prayer, Adelia is sent back to Italy to accompany the King's daughter who is on her way to her wedding. For such an intelligent woman, Adelia has little common sense regarding her own safety at times…and I found her carelessness to be rather silly however the matter of the illicit love affair did seem to be being brought to a conclusion in this story. This is the last in the series as sadly the author passed away – earlier this year I think. Generally, these books are definitely worth a read for fans of the medieval period of time and Adelia and her companions are very likeable characters even if she is a little careless with herself! (library book)
Books 9, 10 and 11 for the Historical Reading Challenge
May Contain Traces of Magi by Tom Holt – I spotted this in Carole's book list and ordered it up from my library. Thoroughly enjoyed it and it was a good break from my favourite historical books…sometimes you can have too much of a good thing and it's a good idea to change genre – this was the perfect solution.
I've four more historical books to write reviews for which will bring my total up to 15 so far this year but I'll save those for another post, I think this one has gone on for long enough! Must try and keep on top of things once I caught up!