From our SEPTEMBER  REVIEWS

Two runners-up because I couldn't decide which one to choose: who could not like an Elizabeth Chadwick, especially when the narrative is about one of the heroes of the past - William Marshal? 
Runner up: Read our review HERE
And despite it being a well-known fact among my readers and friends that I loathe Duke William of Normandy (I refuse to give him his other well-known title) and have reservations about reading novels about him The Harrowing was an engrossing read. I cried through several scenes, probably because this particular period of history really hits home to me, and James Aitcheson has a very skilful talent for turning fiction into vivid reality.
Runner Up:  Read our review HERE 
but my selected Book of the Month is...
Winner: read our review HERE
I wouldn't advise reading this one if you are planning to attend any social dinner parties - and you'll be taking extra care with what you eat and drink (especially mushrooms!) after reading this novel, for it is about a professional poisoner. It is one of those novels where you know you should utterly despise the lead character - but you find yourself rooting for her, even applauding her (deadly) skill!  The novel is about ghastly methods of murder - but it is delicious fun!


Runner Up - Chosen because I enjoyed the adventure - great fun (and terrific writing!) 
Read our review HERE  
And my selected Book of the Month is...

read our review HERE
Thoroughly enjoyed this one as well, but it squeezed into top place because I adore novels about the past of old houses. (Which is why I love living in my own old  Devon farmhouse built circa 1769 - I often wonder who lived here, what they did, were they happy or sad? The house has a happy atmosphere, though, so mostly the former I think.) The novel was a little difficult to get into for the first couple of pages because the opening narrative hops between past and present but 'hopping' never really bothers me (probably because I have a continuously hopping-about mind anyway!) and once you get the idea of what the author is doing the novel becomes an absorbing page-turner.

I know just what the lead character, Freya, meant when she said it felt like her house 'hugged her' when she first entered through the front door. Exactly the same happened to me when I first walked into the old part of our house. Maybe the romance side of the story was predictable - but that's the way romances are meant to be.

I loved the scenes from the past - expertly done (I have several 'ghost's' who remain with us here in my Devon house as welcome guests!)

My only criticism is that I think the cover could be more eye-catching, the present one doesn't give a feel of what the story is about. Such a delightful story deserves a gorgeous cover I think. And why not a hare on the cover given that a hare is almost a lead character?
Apart from that one tiny miff I loved this novel!

My only criticism is that I think the cover could be more eye-catching, the present one doesn't give a feel of what the story is about. Such a delightful story deserves a gorgeous cover I think. And why not a hare on the cover given that a hare is almost a lead character?
Apart from that one tiny miff I loved this novel!
* * * 
My Runner up choice is...
I love Ms Harlond's descriptive writing 
read our review here
And my selected Book of the Month is...
Read our review
This debut novel needed some editing - but the author has realised her 'errors', and despite the novice 'bloopers' I thoroughly enjoyed this novel - an author to watch I think!

* * * 
read our review
my runner up choice - Kathryn Gauci

And my selected Book of the Month is...

Read the review
I love stories of the Age of Sail, and this is one of the best (outside of my own series of course! LOL) that I have read in a long while. In fact, I'd go as far as saying this is better than even Patrick O'Brian for the simple reason that Mr Allan has brilliantly incorporated female characters into his stories, whereas their presence in many of O'Brian's novels is notable by their absence.  Bravo Mr Allan.

* * * 
Books Reviewed During MAY
read the review
Book of the Month WINNER
I'm not particularly keen on war stories, especially Hitler, the Third Reich etc - but I do like a good 'who done it', something a bit different and an easy, enjoyable read (not that brutal murder is 
enjoyable! *laugh*.)  Zugzwang ticked all the boxes, so it is my wining selection for this month.
* * * 

I thoroughly enjoyed all novels on my 'shortlisted selection' this month, but I've selected Truly are the Free by Jeffrey K Walker as my runner-up because it was a pleasure to read, and enjoy, something different.
And my selected Book of the Month is...
Yes - I'm matching our Cover of the Month: a superb book outside and inside! 

* * * 
From our MARCH Reviews
My personal runner-up choice for this month is Joan Druett's The Money Ship. I have the boxed set and enjoyed this nautical series very much for the nautical accuracy in particular.

Read our review HERE
I am starting to  wonder why I decided to do this 'Book of the Month' selection because Discovering Diamonds are receiving so many interesting novels now, it is becoming harder and harder to select those few I want to read (and have time to  read.) 

Ruth Downie's latest Medicus Murder Mystery came a very close second because this series is such fun and so absorbing to read. 
Read our review HERE
For my Book of the Month, however, I agree with our reviewer, Elizabeth St John ... this probably is one of the best WWI stories I have ever read.

Read our review HERE
From our FEBRUARY Reviews
Read the review HERE
Although a short novella, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Ms St.John is a superb writer, and I think one of the reason this book has stayed with me is because I still haven't made up my mind whether I like the protagonist or not - such a refreshing change to meet a character who has the qualities (or non-qualities) of real, living people. I also enjoy novels that look at characters who apper briefly in other novels, then have the opportunity to strut their stuff on their own stage! 

As a close second was Anna Belfrage's latest because it was a treat to read well-researched information regarding a period I know very little about.

Read the review HERE
From our JANUARY Reviews

Now that we are receiving a substantial amount of novels to review I am finding my reading list also extending (which is a good thing!) I've had some delightful books to select my Book of the Month from - some sad, (the one about Charles Dickens' wife Catherine Dickens : Outside the Magic Circle by Heera Deeta as example. I confess I have never liked Dickens, the man or his works, maybe this is the reason why?) 

Others were exciting or intriguing - all were page-turners ...

... because I enjoy novels about the 17th Century - and Mr Pepys, and this one was very good...
the Winner is...

< For a list of shortlisted titles see the sidebar (you might have to scroll down) 

* * * 

All books selected will automatically be short-listed for our 

Book of the Year Award

(to be revealed at the end of December 2018)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for leaving a comment - it should appear soon, but Blogger sometimes chucks its teddies out of the cot and has a tantrum. My apologies if you leave a comment and I do not respond - blame it on Blogger Bloopers. If you are having problems, contact me on author AT helenhollick DOT net and I will post it for you. Sometimes a post will appear as anonymous instead of your name or avatar - I draw attention to this being another Blogger Blooper and NOT of MY doing... That said ...SPAMMERS or distasteful rudeness will be stamped on, squashed, composted and very possibly cursed - if you spam my blog, next time something nasty happens to you just remember that I DID warn you...