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    • Hayley

      January Supporter Giveaway   01/16/2019

        I'm thrilled to (finally, sorry for the delay!) announce the January giveaway, with a Sherlock Holmes theme! Supporters can win a beautiful little hardback edition of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as well as a stylish a5 print by www.thestorygift.co.uk/, featuring some witty advice from the great detective.     As always, if you support on patreon or if you supported before patreon (and did so less than twelve months ago), you'll be entered into the giveaway automatically. If you're not a supporter but want to take part, you can support for this month here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum .   The winner will be selected at random on January 31st. Good luck!  
Madeleine

Madeleine's Book Log - ongoing

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The Mermaid's Scream by Kate Ellis - the latest in the Wesley Peterson crime series set in Devon, this concerns the murder of a young man who is writing a biography of Wynn Staniland, a once famous author who wrote several bestsellers, but stopped after his wife committed suicide, in a manner which mocked the plot of one of his books. A couple are found dead in a caravan at a holiday park, and the woman was reading one of Staniland's books - a tenuous link but one which makes the police curious, as all their leads seem to lead back to the author, who lives in seclusion with his step-daughter. Meanwhile, Wesley's friend, archaeologist Neil, is excavating the garden of an old ruined house, where a notorious murder took place over 100 years ago, but the house's new owner's ancestor was accused of the murder, but he wants to clear his relative's name. The two cases went along nicely side by side, and although these books are pretty much familiar police procedurals, the main characters are engaging. The plot was very convoluted and it took me a while to get my head around it, so although these books are deceptively simple at first glance, they are very tightly plotted. There's also a bit of family trouble for Wesley, as his son befriends a wrong 'un, and gets into a bit of bother. The historical element is partly based on a notorious murder case, according to the author's note, and the ruined house still stands! 7/10

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The Thief's Daughter by Victoria Cornwall - this is a thoroughly enjoyable novel set in 18th century Cornwall, and would appeal to fans of Poldark and Jamaica Inn, although it most resembles the latter du Maurier novel (the political period is roughly the same as the current series of Poldark, including a guest appearance4 from the future PM, Pitt the Younger). Jenna Cartwright comes from a tainted line of thieves, her parents were last heard of in prison, two of her brothers have gone to sea and the remaining brother, Silas, to whom she is the closest, is currently languishing in a debtors' prison, largely through his own greed and failed schemes. She brings him food and money when she can, but with her background finds it hard to find work. However things look up when Jack Penhale employs her as his housekeeper; he likes her spirit and helps her learn to read. But he is a thief-taker, hated by her family and when Silas finds out he is consumed with jealousy, and when he's offered a get out of jail free card in exchange for information to bring down a large ring of smugglers, he puts both Jack and Jenna, who by this time have of course fallen in love, in terrible danger, and neither knows whether they can trust each other any more. No surprises as to how it will all turn out, but I found this a well-written historical romp, with great characters and just the right amount of danger and romance. 8/10

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Falling Creatures by Katherine Stansfield - 19th century Cornwall, and two young women - Shilly and Charlotte - are hired to work on a lonely farm on Bodmin Moor. The two begin a relationship, but Charlotte also captivates most of the local men, and Shilly is annoyed at sharing her with others, and is also intrigued by her mysterious visits over the moor on her days off, supposedly to visit her family in Boscastle. Charlotte also has supernatural powers, which include striking down a wealthy land-owner's cattle, so when she is found murdered on the moor, the list of suspects is quite long, but one of the farmhands, Matthew, is arrested and quickly tried and found guilty. Shilly is convinced he is innocent, and she is joined by a mysterious stranger calling himself Mr Williams, who is also convinced of Matthew's innocence, and so begins a desperate race against time to find the real culprit, and save Matthew from the gallows. I found it hard to categorise this book - part Gothic novel, part romance, part historical thriller - it was very well-written and easy to read, and also hugely atmospheric, although Shilly is a slightly unreliable narrator, which gives the book a rather surreal feel at times, making the reader (well this one anyway) not sure how much to believe. However I did like it, and look forward to the sequel in which Shilly and Mr Williams continue their adventures on Bodmin Moor. According to the author's note, this was based on a real murder from this period, which is still talked of today.7/10

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Force of Nature by Jane Harper - this is the second book to feature Federal policeman Aaron Falk, and is quite different from the first book, The Dry, in that it's more of a straightforward mystery, with Falk as one of the investigating officers, rather than the more personal events of the first book, which is briefly touched on here but you don't need to have read it to enjoy this book. Falk and his partner, Carmen, have been investigating a company called BaileyTennants for various possible fraud etc, and their main contact has been a woman called Alice. When the company send two teams of colleagues - five men and five women - on a "survival" weekend in the dense Giralang range, only 4 of the women return; the missing person is Alice, but is her disappearance connected with Falk's case, or a coincidence? The story is told in alternating chapters, switching from the police investigation/search for the missing woman, and what really happened on the team-building weekend, which starts out cheerfully enough but by the end of the first day is already descending into resentment and conflict, especially between Alice and Jill, who is a member of the Bailey family and their boss. It's a fast-paced, enjoyable novel, with old battles recurring (Alice and one of the other women were at school together and have a history of enmity) and as the book goes on the chapters get shorter and shorter, increasing the tension as we get closer to finding out what really happened to Alice. I must admit that I found the final reveal to be slightly disappointing, although at least it wasn't as sensationalist as it might have been (the area was targeted by a serial killer several years previously, and that history still casts a sinister shadow over everything) but I thought this was an entertaining, fast-paced read, perfect for holidays, and Falk is an engaging character ,and I was glad to see him back again after the first book. 8.5/10

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A Suitable Vengeance by Elizabeth George - this is my first Inspector Lynley and overall I enjoyed it, although I did find it a bit wordy at times. Tommy (Lynley) has taken his fiancée Deborah to his ancestral home (he's a Lord after all) down in Cornwall, to meet his mother, and for some reason his work colleague and close friend, Simon St James, plus Simon's sister Sidney, come too. They are followed by Sidney's on/off boyfriend, the charmless Justin Brooke, and also by Tommy's dissolute, drug addict brother Peter, and his equally shambolic girlfriend Sasha. Not surprisingly there is plenty of tension, both between the brothers and Tommy and his mother, who fell out years ago and although reconciled have had an uneasy relationship ever since. But they're all distracted when the editor of the local newspaper is found brutally murdered in his cottage, and the police look at several possible motives, was it a burglary that was interrupted, an irate husband (the man was a notorious womaniser, despite being married with a baby), or was someone trying to suppress a big story he was working on? Lots of red herrings, then, and quite a bit of angst too as Tommy and his brother deal with each other and their own resentments (real or imaginary), their mother tries to keep the peace, and poor Deborah wonders what she's getting into (run Deborah run!). Then Justin Brooke is found dead at the bottom of a nearby cliff, and although an arrest is made for the journalist's murder, many are convinced that the police have the wrong man. There are further twists and turns until all is revealed,, and although it was well plotted I found it a bit convoluted. However I did like reading about Lynley (having seen most of the TV shows, and I vaguely remember this one, although Havers only features very briefly in this book) who is quite different to his TV version (he's blond for a start) and have several others to read. 7/10

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The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths - this is the latest Ruth Galloway adventure, and in this one Ruth is in Italy, after an old colleague (and brief lover) contacts her for a second opinion on a skeleton he's found, one which seems to have been buried with a mobile phone! It looks like someone is out to sabotage the dig, and events become more sinister when the local priest is murdered. Meanwhile, Harry Nelson, kicking his heels at home and livid when he finds that Ruth has taken their daughter abroad without first consulting him, flies out to Italy after an earthquake takes place in the area. He inevitably gets involved in the murder investigation, but he and Ruth enjoy their brief time together. But back in Norfolk, it looks like someone from his past is about to catch up with him and his family. This was another enjoyable adventure, although perhaps not quite as engrossing as the earlier books; perhaps the different setting didn't feel right? Or maybe it's just that it's becoming a little unconvincing as to how trouble follows Ruth around so much! But not a bad read, I still like Ruth's character and it was nice to see Nelson's family developing a bit more, even though I felt one storyline was ended a little too conveniently....7.5/10

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The Lost by Mari Hannah - this is the first of a new detective/crime series set in Northumberland. The leads here are Detective Inspector David Stone, originally from the area, but who's now returned following a demotion in rank due to something that happened whilst he was serving with the Metropolitan Police in London. HIs sidekick is Detective Sergeant Frances aka Frankie Oliver, 3rd generation police officer and Northumbrian born and bred. When a 10 year old boy goes missing after school, it's all hands on deck to search for him, but when he turns up unharmed a couple of days later it's written off as a misunderstanding, lack of communication etc. Then his au pair is found dead in a nearby country road, and although it was made to look like a road accident, some of her injuries suggest otherwise. Stone and Oliver are put on the case, but both are haunted by their own past in different ways, with Stone's in particular being especially disturbing. All links point to a member of the boy's family, but are the police looking at the right person? And when a relative of the family is also murdered, this time in London, David has to call on his former colleagues for help, but not everyone is keen to see him back in London. I enjoyed this, the leads were engaging and although there were many of the usual crime tropes in the novel, and the murderer's identity wasn't that surprising, I still really liked it, it was a fast easy read with some good banter between the police team. A promising start to a new series. 8/10

Edited by Madeleine

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The Wildflowers by Harriet Evans - this book tells the story of Tony and Althea Wilde, two successful actors in the Burton/Taylor mould, and their children Ben and Cordelia. I't's told over 3 time periods - Tony's traumatic childhood during the second World War, during which he saw his mother killed when their house took a direct hit from a German bomb, and which resulted in his being taken under the wing of his eccentric great aunt Dinah, an archaeologist who he barely knows, and who comes back from Baghdad to take him to the Bosky, the family retreat on the Dorset coast which figures strongly in the other 2 main threads - Ben and Cordelia's childhood, and finally the present day, which sees Ben working mainly in LA as a successful scriptwriter, and Cordelia in London, trying to get by as a singing teacher after her voice (she was a successful singer) was ruined when surgery to repair damaged vocal cords didn't work. The third wheel in Ben and Cordy's story is Mads, a young girl who stayed with her father in a nearby house, The Beeches, and was obviously unhappy (her mother died young and her father was very strict, to put it mildly) and who gradually becomes friends with the children, eventually marrying Ben. In the present day, Cordy is estranged from her family, but when Althea announces that she is dying, she reluctantly returns to them, to find out what really happened all those years ago, and that there are some secrets which can never be shared. This was an OK read, some of the big secrets I suspected (and guessed correctly) early on; most of the characters weren't that likeable and a couple of the storylines were rather vague, and I never found Aunt Dinah and her ghastly friend Daphne that convincing, they were very stereo-typical. Not bad for a holiday read though, and very evocative of the glorious Dorset coast if you're familiar with the area. 7/10

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The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths - in the latest of the Stephens/Mephisto mysteries, set in 1950s Brighton and London, the two friends find themselves involved in a crime which takes them back to the War, after their boss, Cartwright, is found dead in his London flat. The police think it's a botched burglary, but clues are left which point towards their involvement with the Magic Men, a secretive group who tried to build decoy tanks, ships etc during the War to stop the Germans from bombing the real thing. The death of a gypsy fortune teller in Brighton seems unconnected, and Stephens is even more bewildered when he's sent to New York to interview a vaudeville performer who also knew his boss, but when the man is knocked and down and killed in a hit and run incident the day before Stephens arrives in the US, and he himself is almost run down, things start to look dangerous, and when a playbill is discovered in the old lady's house, with the name of the recently deceased American showman on, it looks like all the cases may be connected after all. i thought this book took a while to get going, and seemed to almost ramble for a while until the storylines gradually came together, and then the second part was more gripping than the first. It was amusing to see the introduction of TV too, when Max (the magician) is invited to take part in a new variety show called "Those were the days", he's convinced it will never catch on, but even he can see that times are changing, so he reluctantly agrees to appear. But the threat isn't over yet.....7.5/10

Edited by Madeleine

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Earthly Remains by Donna Leon - latest in the Brunetti crime series set in Venice, and Brunetti is beginning to feel the strain and stress of his job, to the extent that he fakes a "turn" to prevent his colleague from over-reacting during the questioning of a possible suspect in the investigation into a young girl's drug overdose at a party. To his surprise, he's carted off to hospital, given tests and finds his blood pressure is very high, so he's immediately told to take at least 2 weeks off and have complete rest. His wife arranges for him to stay at a relative's villa on one of the islands in the Lagoon, and once there he befriends the villa's caretaker, who it turns out was friendly with his father. But crime is never far away, and when his new friend is killed in what looks like a boating accident during a violent storm, he's convinced there's more to the supposed "accident". Cue the opening of a can of worms which means digging back (literally) into his friend's background, and finding out some unsavoury truths about what really goes on in Venice. This was quite a languid read, but picked up halfway through once the investigation got going, although it did fizzle out a bit towards the end, but the author sometimes doesn't have a neat conclusion to her stories, which makes a change in crime fiction. There's a sense of fighting a losing battle here, but there is still a fair bit of humour, and the goodness of Brunetti and other characters comes through. 7.5/10

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The Loving Cup by Winston Graham - this is the 10th in the Poldark series, and carries on directly from the events of the previous book, again it focussed more on the offspring of the Poldarks and Warleggans, although the adults are still very much in evidence. There are marriages, and more schemes, and the fallout from the last book still exerts a hold over some characters, I can't say more without spoilers! Suffice to say this was another good read in the series. 8/10

 

 

Heavenfield by L J Ross - this is the 3rd in the DCI Ryan crime series, set in glorious Northumberland, and this time Ryan finds himself a suspect, when he's found standing above the dead body of a man who was a close friend of his girlfriend, Anna, with blood on his hands. Of course his team knows he's innocent, but there are people in the force who would love to see him go down, in some cases probably literally, and they have to fight to help him prove his innocence, especially as he's already been suspended from the force. Then members of the Circle, a clandestine group of men and women from all walks of life, start to die, including some who were imprisoned following the murder investigation in the previous books. Then their own boss is also attacked, and his wife disappears - the team know that he's involved, but can they prove it? And can they stop the Circle from removing everyone who gets in their way? This was another gripping adventure, with a thrilling, if slightly OTT, denouement, at Bamburgh Castle, and at only 250 pages it was a snappy read. In fact, I wish it could have been a bit longer! But the characters are developing nicely, although it would be nice if the story could move on from the Circle now. A great series, with a fabulous setting. 8/10

Edited by Madeleine

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Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland - Loveday Cardew works in a second hand bookshop in York; she's had a traumatic past and grew up in care, and gradually we find out what happened, although it's not difficult to guess early on. Terrified that someone will find out about her past, she keeps herself to herself, especially following a disastrous relationship with Rob, who has mental health problems but is also quite a piece of work. Then one day Nathan walks into the shop, having dropped a book in the street, which Loveday happens to have found, and slowly the two of them form a sweet relationship, but Loveday is convinced it can't last, and when a mysterious box of books is brought into the shop one day, she finds that her past is finally catching up with her. Truth will out, but we also find out that it is possible to move on, with the help of the right people, even through tragedy. I thought this was a lovely book, and I liked the way Loveday's past was revealed. Annabel was a lovely character and so of course were Archie (the bookshop owner) and Nathan, and, despite another tragedy happening towards the end of the book, I liked the positive note on which the book ended. I've been to Whitby and it was nice reading about the Whitby bookshop and all the steps again. I thought it was well-written and well paced, and a bit deeper than some books which tend to get labelled as chick lit. It did remind me quite a bit of Eleanor Oliphant, but I prefer this book to Eleanor. A good choice and will be in my top 10 this year 8/10

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Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard - this is one of Linda Gillard's early books, in fact I think it might have been her first, and whilst it's good and is well-written, I think her later books are better. It's set mostly on the Hebridean island of North Uist, where Rose Leonard has set up home following a traumatic relationship breakdown which led to her being hospitalised, and to years of self-harming. Gradually she builds a new life, making friends with Shona, her nearest neighbour, and then becoming increasingly attracted to Shona's brother Calum. But the ghost of her old love affair still lingers, especially when she realises that it's quite possible that Calum may have met her ex, as both men are keen mountaineers; to the point of obsession in the case of her ex, and there's also the fractious relationship with her adult daughter, who suddenly turns up, to contend with. It's a story of healing, and learning to trust again - Rose's ex was a total **** but even so I think her reactions were a bit extreme, but it's not hard to see why she's so hesitant to fall in love again. But Calum has his own ghosts and traumas to come to terms with, too. A nice story, with a glorious setting, and a fair bit of humour, with the author handling the issues of mental illness and guilt very well. 7/10

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The Witch-Finder's Sister by Beth Underdown - this is another take on the story of Matthew Hopkins, the self-styled Witchfinder General who briefly terrorised parts of Essex and Suffolk (and a little further afield) in the first half of the 17th century; he was after women who had been accused of witchcraft, and rounded them up for questioning and then for trial. But the story is told by his sister, Alice (who may or may not have existed) who is forced to return to live with Matthew in the Essex town of Manningtree after her husband is killed in an accident in London. She's also expecting a baby, but, because she's had several miscarriages, is too scared and superstitious to tell anyone about the pregnancy. So she finds herself generally friendless, and with a cold brother who seems set on his macabre crusade against alleged witches. Apparently this had happened before ,but previously the suspects were released without charge, after cooling their heels in prison for a while, and initially Alice thinks the same thing will happen this time. But once it becomes apparent that things are more serious, she starts to wonder who she can trust, and eventually has to admit that her once beloved brother is on a path of evil obsession, and when he takes her with him to help "search" the witches for suspicious marks, she comes close to despair. Only the thought of hopefully being able to help and maybe save some of the women keeps her going. This was a well-written book, although the subject matter doesn't really make it enjoyable, but it's a slightly different look at Matthew Hopkins, which tries to show him not totally as a monster, although sadly by the end even Alice has to admit that he has become one. A neat little twist at the end too. This is her first book and she's certainly a promising writer. 7.5/10

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The Silent Companions - Laura Purcell - this is a Gothic novel set in 2 time periods - the 1860s and about 2 hundred years earlier, the 1680s and focuses mainly on the Bainbridge family and their crumbling house, The Bridge. The main character is Elsie, who married Rupert, the heir to The Bridge, who dies suddenly not long after they're married. Pregnant with their first child, Elsie returns to the Bridge and to her brother Jolyon, but he promptly has to go back to London for business reason and she's left with just Rupert's mousy cousin, Sarah, and a bunch of surly servants for company. Disturbed by strange noises during the night, she investigates and finds, in true Gothic style, a locked attic! But suddenly the door opens , and she finds, among the usual old bits of furniture, chests, etc, some strange life-size wooden figures, which for some reason are brought downstairs. Gradually more "companions" begin to appear, and whilst initially they seem harmless, they soon take on a sinister aspect, especially when they seem to move. Back in the 1600s, we get the story of Anna Bainbridge, who was married to an ambitious husband who was desperate to gain royal favour, and they are the original owners of the companions, and they have one daughter, the mysterious mute Hetta, who seems strange for her tender years (about 9 or 10). And when the King and Queen come to visit, it ends in disaster, and seems to set in motion the chain of events which still plagues the house 200 years later. We also get Elsie's story of what happened later; we first meet her recovering in hospital from a serious incident (no prizes for guessing it's a fire) and on a possible murder charge, and gradually we get her back story. I did enjoy this, it was well-written and quite creepy, although eventually it got a bit over the top towards the end. Elsie is a bit of an unreliable narrator, and the ending is a bit ambiguous, although I suspected it was going that way. Enjoyable if somewhat OTT Victorian gothic, very atmospheric. 7/10

The Travelling Bag by Susan Hill - this book consists of 5 spooky short stories; the first titular one concerns a private feud between rival medical experts, which is made worse when one of the men passes off the other's research work as his own, and gets all the glory; there's also Boy Number 21, about a mysterious schoolboy who befriends another lad who's feeling very isolated; Alice Baker - a new girl starts work in a large office, she seems rather strange and keeps herself to herself, but it's not until the team move offices that the weirdness really starts, with one employee, who narrates ,being particularly affected; in The Front Room a family discover that no good deed goes unpunished when they decide to be charitable and invite the father's elderly stepmother to come and live them; and in Printer's Devil Court a group of medical students, who share digs, try a ghoulish experiment goes horribly wrong and continues to haunt them long after. I thought this was a good collection, each story was well-written and atmospheric, and just about the right length. Worth a read for Halloween! 7.5/10

 

Agatha Raisin & The Witches Tree by M C Beaton - yet another adventure for Agatha, who is finally feeling her age - she's been 53 for about 5 books now - and getting lonely as she thinks she'll be left on the shelf. In the meantime, she's kept busy by a couple of strange deaths in a nearby village, where the bodies have been found in or under the so-called ~Witches Tree. But is witchcraft really involved? It's another romp, not very well-written and feeling very rushed, these books are a fun interlude, and a nice quick read, but maybe MCB should think about winding them up now?. Still strangely addictive though! 6.5/10

Edited by Madeleine

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Great reviews Madeleine. I really enjoyed The Witchfinder's Sister and completely agree that Beth Underdown is an author to look out for. I was really not expecting the ending, but I liked it!

 

I've been looking at The Silent Companions too, but couldn't decide whether it sounded a bit predictable. I don't think I'd mind the OTT Victorian gothic too much (although it does sound like there's a LOT of typical tropes in there) but now I'm not sure about the ambiguous ending... 

 

The Travelling Bag has been on my to-read list for a while so I'm glad to see you enjoyed it. Now I wish I'd got it in time for Halloween though :rolleyes:

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Strange Sight by Syd Moore - this is the second in a sort of mash-up of ghost story/crime series in which Rosie Strange, who in the first book inherited a run-down Witch Museum in Essex, and her sidekick, Sam Stone, who is the curator of the museum, get involved in various scrapes as they try to solve a mystery. This time it involves the gruesome murder of a chef at a restaurant in London; the owner is a reformed "hard man" who knows Rosie's auntie Babs, so when it seems that a ghost murdered his chef, Rosie and Sam are called in. But as they investigate the dark history of the house, it looks like the living are more likely to be the culprits, and as they sift through the various suspects - the owner's daughter, who found the body, her boyfriend, the restaurant manager, plus various members of staff - they also find themselves in danger, not only from the owner either, who won't take no for an answer. This was an entertaining romp, which doesn't take itself too seriously, and Rosie and Sam's friendship/relationship is shaping up nicely, and is an enjoyable addition to the series. 7/10
 

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Fireside Gothic by Andrew Taylor -this is a collection of 3 spooky shortish (around 80 pages each) stories which aren't conventional ghost stories as such, but are still quite chilling. In the first, two boys have to spend Christmas with one of their old schoolmasters; he is kindly but they're soon bored, apart from the large meals which they take at the curate's house, their time is pretty much their own, and when one of the boys, who is in danger of being expelled after a petty thieving incident, suggests going into the cathedral after hours to retrieve a forgotten music sheet, it can only end in disaster. The second story, The Leper House, is much creepier and is set in the present day - a man goes to her sister's funeral in rural East Anglia, and on the way back his car gets a puncture late at night, and he's forced to abandon it and seek shelter (no mobile phone signal!) which he finds at a lonely house, which he is directed to after he's called at yet another lonely house, and a young woman has recommended to him. Curious and unable to sleep, he decides to try to find the young woman's house, which he duly does and they spend the night together, but she's quick to send him home afterwards, saying she never wants to see him again. He returns to his lodging, but next day he tries to see the young woman again - only to discover that the house has gone. The third story, The Scratch, is about a mature couple whose children have both left home, but who take in their nephew, a young soldier who's returned from Afghanistan, after being injured in an explosion, in which his friend was killed and which has left him wracked with guilt. But whilst waiting for rescue, he thought he saw a big cat in the cave, and fired at it. Now he's home and there's a scratch on his arm which won't heal, and he becomes convinced that a large cat is living in the nearby forest. His aunt, left alone whilst her husband goes into London for work each day, becomes fascinated by him. These stories were all intriguing, and well-written, and I thought the second story was probably the best one, although the 3rd had a good twist. Good stuff for cold dark nights! 7.5/10

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Angel by L J Ross - this is the 4th in the D C I Ryan series, and yet again a serial killer plagues Northumberland, as the bodies of women, arranged to look like they have angel's wings, are discovered in cemeteries in and around the Newcastle area. Ryan thinks there has to be a link to the Catholic church, as cards with blessings written in Latin are found with all the bodies, but his boss is worried about a backlash from the Church. As the net closes in, someone close to Ryan seems to be at risk, and the book ends on a suitable cliffhanger. Another good instalment in the series, with a bit of humour to lighten the dark tone. 7.5/10

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23 minutes ago, Madeleine said:

Angel by L J Ross - this is the 4th in the D C I Ryan series, and yet again a serial killer plagues Northumberland, as the bodies of women, arranged to look like they have angel's wings, are discovered in cemeteries in and around the Newcastle area. Ryan thinks there has to be a link to the Catholic church, as cards with blessings written in Latin are found with all the bodies, but his boss is worried about a backlash from the Church. As the net closes in, someone close to Ryan seems to be at risk, and the book ends on a suitable cliffhanger. Another good instalment in the series, with a bit of humour to lighten the dark tone. 7.5/10

Great Reviews! This series sounds very interesting. I might give this one a go!

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I like the sound of both Fireside Gothic & the LJ Ross series. Thanks for the reviews!

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