My Blog List

Sunday, July 30, 2023


The sequel to the first book, this takes us right back in 74 year old Ronnie’s life. With a daughter Nadia turning out of the blue, heavily pregnant but still acerbic as ever, Ronnie has to steer a path between the past heavily obscured by her daughters view of the past, which was very much in favour of Ronnie’s husband now dead. 

As was common years ago, one was stoic about many subjects - unfaithfulness, domestic abuse. There was no recourse, no counselling available and one got on with life. Maybe Ronnie closed her eyes to the infidelity, but in the case of the abuse she thought she did the right thing in order to protect a youngster. In hindsight it was not right but that is neither here nor there.

Now faced with her past in a double whammy she faces not only her own daughter but the girl she protected all those years ago from an abusive father. Will taking sides cause irrevocable damage to the relationship she is craving to build with both her daughter and grand daughter. Is the decision to live in Rome going to create a bigger rift. Can Ronnie move back to England after so many years and live there.

The story of family, sacrifices, questions of how, why and what does one do is eternal. Trying to balance it all is hard sometimes not pleasing to all.

Sent by Bookouture for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Evans Above by Rhys Bowen


I got the series all nine of them but I am spacing them out not to bore my followers!

The pace of detection is slow. Our Evans is just a village copper. He is keen, quite focussed and thinks out of the box. Not quite acceptable to the condescending higher ups who do not seem to appreciate enterprise or a different perspective. Two hikers found fallen, dead and the constabulary wants to say accidental death and they did not know their mountain hiking lore so what do you expect. Evans is not at all convinced and finds a link between the two. Evans also enquires into a death six years ago which was also classified as accidental. When a third hiker is found with his throat slashed, the authorities cannot talk about accidental deaths anymore. Add to the mix a paedophile on the loose, a peeping Tom who steals food as well and Evans is a busy cop.

The insularity of this small Welsh village and the clannishness is very apparent. Their dislike of the English is also very much part of the story (something I have to read about a bit)! It added to the charm of the story.

A purchase from Amazon though they still do not allow me to post reviews there!

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

The Rome Apartment by Kerry Fisher

Beth and her husband have reached an impasse in their marriage. Joel wants a break and finds a job opportunity in Paris leaving everything open to whatever may follow. He doesn’t want to commit himself to whether he wants to stay or go from the marriage and Beth has been so compliant throughout that she cannot take a stand, though inwardly she knows she is a coward for not taking a stand.

A chance advertisement in a magazine is the impetus she needs to spend a few months in Rome with two older ladies who are so full of life that they somehow drag Beth from the dull and routine which she has followed throughout her marriage.

The story of revival, survival, finding new interests and even love is an invigorating read. It is fun to read about reviving interests one had when one was in your twenties, and know there is so much still to do when one is in one’s fifties.

The good part is that though the story does not end conclusively there is a sequel (review follows).

The book was sent by Bookouture for an unbiased review courtesy of Netgalley.

PS at last I’ve sorted the issue of posting photographs to my posts via the kindness of a niece who went through blogger page by page to find out how to rectify my errors.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

The Paris Assignment by Rhys Bowent

The two great wars brought us so much good literature - each with a different perspective all so different and all riveting reading. This was no different. Maddie is one of the most conformist, mild souls you could envisage. Not one for confrontation, anything for the sake of peace she goes along with her family plans in a plodding manner until one day she decides to go as part of a study course to Sorbonne, falls in love with France, finds a love of her own and makes France her home. The story evolves from there, WWII breaks out, she and her young son forced to returnto England, her husband joining the Resistance and the heartbreak starts there. The story goes much further than this with really heart breaking consequences which no person should be called upon to bear. The imagery throughout this book is the steadfastness to a cause, the stoic bearing of misery still maintaining qualities of goodness isdifficul to imagine. Most people will break under that pressure, just give up any attempt to be humane. Powerful story Sent by Lake Union Publishing for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley. Just got discharged from hospital with so much medication. At least the good news is that they all finish within ten days.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

The Antiquity Affair by Lee Kelly and Jennifer Thorne

Set in 1907 egypt had become the centre of attention for the artifacts that poured out of the country. There seemed to be vastnumbers of people, seemingly explorerers but mainly looters who found priceless articles which were in high demand amongst so called connoiseurs of art worldwide. Dr Walter Ford was a leading Egyptologist and he was presently on a search for the Serpent Crown said to contain magical powers of conferring absolute control over countries and one which led to dominance over people. Such a crown was naturally sought by many. When Dr Ford started on this quest, he did not envisage that his enemies would focus their attention on his two daughters the debutante Lila or his non conformist and adventure loving Tess. Starting first as an abduction then going into a chase and rescue, the expedition of Dr Ford is not an easy one as his opposition does not care how many victims they leave behind in their quest for the crown. Very descriptive of the life of the times, both in fashionable Manhattan, urban Egypt and then desert Egypt, this was an adventurous read. Sent by Harper Muse for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley. I am working with an eye patch looking ridiculous, so please excuse any typos.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

This and That

Went on an unexpected short too short trip to Singapore. Wandered around very hot, very humid. Being Sri Lankan we had to shop and sadly due to the economic woes at home, we tend to go for stuff which will be considered basics by many. Cheese, olive oil, hummus, corned beef you get the picture. And for me always shoes and bags. Not necessarily high end but good stuff. Came back one day later realised something not quite right. My words were slurred mouth was droopy. The worst case scenario a stroke. Too much of char siew pork, chicken rice, biryani! Fortunately thank the Lord, its Bells palsy brought about by a viral infection, overnight in hospital and hopefully tomorrow home. Review posts will be up in a day

Friday, July 14, 2023

The Other Year by Rea Frey

In every life there comes a moment which defines us. We meet someone, we miss a bus or a train with life changing results. In this case Kateloses sight of her nine year old daughter Olivia for a second, and she drowns. The entire story devolves from this moment told in two different frames - what if Olivia bounced back, and then she did not. It wasa slightly unnerving read, what happenedto Kate as a result of the drowning, and what happens if life goes on as normal for Kate as a single mother, having an ex husband plus two men friends interested in her. The trauma,the emotions in each alternate scenario were heartbreaking, normal, like a roller coaster. good reading. Sent to me by Harper Muse for anunbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

A Cryptic Clue by Victoria Gilbert

Jane is retired and returning to the world of books, a subject she likes. Cataloguing a vast collection of detective and mystery books from decades past is a job she envisaged she likes doing. She did not expect a boss, young and rich and abrupt with no empathy or filters when he did talk. (reminded me of Sheldon in BBT). It was a small household in which Jane worked, but there were under currents from the first instance. When Jane discovers a dead bodyon her first day of work, she is drawn into detective mode acting as a private investigator where her boss cant go, simply because he is the prime suspect. Jane likes this role as Watson to her boss's role as Sherlock but she is not very sure whether her boss is totally innocent in the first place. Till very much into the story, Jane is unsure whether she is actually helping to cover up a murder. The problem was that all the characters were hiding secrets. Unravelled slowly, this was nice detective work. Sent by Crooked Lane Books for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Scent of a Garden by Namrata Patel

Set in a very accomplished, high achieving family of migrants now well settled in America, expectations for children are very high. This family was no different. Add to that conflicts between parents where a wife has taken second place to her husbands business, is also another reason why Asha's mother pushed her daughter away from the family business and into a line of work in which she had a natural affinity for. Asha has returned home in a state of confusion and frustration. Working as a perfumier in Paris her nose and sense of smell is all important. Losing that after a covid attack is saying goodbye to her career. Coming home was a chance for her to rest regroup, decide what to do. The story of Asha, her dreams and a family supportive but still demanding and how she is going to steer a path between love of her job, her love for family and the love she has for someone which she has buried deep within her is this book. Making peace with a father she never understood, a mother whose determination was pushy, and the loss of a garden which meant so much to Asha are features of this read. Interesting take on an unusual career and very descriptive of California itself. Sent by Lake Union Publishing for an unbiased review courtesy of Netgalley.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Forever Hold your Peace by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

This was a good change for me from the heavy mystery murders that I tend to drift to. This was all about a wedding and not a bridezilla in sight. It was a mothers zilla episode which had festered for twenty six years and erupted with the full force of a volcano. Amy and June were best friends joined at the hip. When Amy discovered June in the arms of her husband, the friendship was over with heart wrenching sadness and regrets on both sides. Both went on to marry/divorce and their paths would not have crossed if not for some stalking on Amy"s ex husband side who was trying to find June (whom he still loved). He sent his son to try to catch up with Olivia (june's daughter) in Positano because he followed Olivia's social media hoping to find June. The deception did not augur well for the future, especially since Zack and Olivia fell in love, came back from the holiday determined to get married as quickly as possible. The meet up of the parents went disastrously as could be expected, and the two mothers did not keep anything back, never thinking of their children's happiness or peace of mind, but only their long hidden hurt. As if this was not bad enough Zack had never told Olivia about his father's role in finding her,and when this came out into the open the whole thing blew up in everyone's faces. The weddingwas called off amidst all the recriminations. It all ended well. Everyone was forgiven and the wedding went ahead!! Light hearted read for a lazy Sunday. Sent by Alcove Press for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

Sunday, July 2, 2023

A Shadow in Moscow by Katherine Reay

Both M16 and the CIA are betrayed by a moleat the highest level endangering the lives of many and especially two very successful female spies. Set over two time lines on 1954 and the 1980s, the story goes into several cities in Europe covering many people and especially families who will be completely disrupted by any breach in the layers and layers of deception, carefully built over the years which made them bothso successful. Two strong women - one the older Ingrid who is a dutiful wife, a charming hostess never drawing attention to herself with British roots and who becomes so good at her job and then there is Anya, just back from Georgetown University, leaving her heart behind in America and now in a field with access to top secret information, living life on the edge as a spy for the CIA. It was a complicated story with many twists in the tale, but well balanced and very enjoyable. Sent by Harper Muse for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.