#BookReview Things In Jars by Jess Kidd

About the book

London, 1863. Bridie Devine, the finest female detective of her age, is taking on her toughest case yet. Reeling from her last job and with her reputation in tatters, a remarkable puzzle has come her way. Christabel Berwick has been kidnapped. But Christabel is no ordinary child. She is not supposed to exist.

As Bridie fights to recover the stolen child she enters a world of fanatical anatomists, crooked surgeons and mercenary showmen. Anomalies are in fashion, curiosities are the thing, and fortunes are won and lost in the name of entertainment. The public love a spectacle and Christabel may well prove the most remarkable spectacle London has ever seen.

Things in Jars is an enchanting Victorian detective novel that explores what it is to be human in inhumane times.

Published by Canongate Books

Publication Date – 4th April 2019


Goldsboro Books  – signed first edition £14.99

hive.co.uk  £10.99

waterstones  £14.99


Move over Sherlock, Bridie Devine is the new super sleuth in town and I adore her! Jess Kidd has created another dark and wonderful tale set in Victorian times that explores the disturbing disappearance of a young girl, who has been kept hidden away because she’s ‘different’ – she feeds on snails, has an unusual appearance and is also said to possess powers.  The family she is stolen from are never too forthcoming with details about her, so it’s left to Bridie to uncover the dark story behind young Christabel, and that leads Bridie to look back on her own childhood too.

She isn’t alone on her quest as she is joined by the rather wonderful   Ruby, a ghost-boxer who appears in Bridie’s life at a seemingly random time! Is there more to his story than meets the eye?! He adds many lighter moments throughout with his comments and observations but also shows sensitivities which are very touching.

As she confronts many repulsive characters on the search for Christabel, the look back on her own earlier life is also a fascinating glimpse into why she feels so connected to this poor girl and why she is determined to try and save her.  

And while there is much love for Bridie and her quest, the evilness of many characters throughout is another success of this book! The levels of depravity that some of them sink to is eye-wateringly shocking and I just found myself wishing for karma to deal with them as soon as possible – in a very unpleasant way!!

I was utterly riveted by this story! And switching the story from the now timeline to Bridie’s past added more as she also had a very unconventional upbringing which explained her outlook on life – and death – now!  The more she uncovers about various characters, the more you left to be staggered by the goings on and I found that I had my heart in my mouth with the dramatic ending.

  I would love to say more about this book but am sure I would include a spoiler or three, so I’m just going to have to say if you love your stories dark, dramatic, mysterious, macabre, weird, wonderful, tense and thrilling then look no further!!


My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – Week 13 2018

Hello and Happy Easter from Archie the bunny and I!  I hope you are enjoying the holidays, eating lots of chocolate, hiding from the rain and reading lots of books!  Sounds like my plan for the next few days at least!

A pretty productive week on the book reading front – 4 books finished, one of which was an audiobook – so another little space has cleared on the bookshelves! And the postman has been much happier this week with very little bookpost – just the 2 added this week and I’ve avoided NetGalley and all those other wonderful/evil sites that normally tempt me! Wonder if I’ll weaken over the Easter holidays?!


Too Close To Breathe by Olivia Kiernan –  4 stars

stunning crime thriller, publication date 5th April 2018

THE VICTORIAN CHAISE-LONGUE by Marghanita Laski –  4 stars

an intriguing little – just 99 pages – book about a woman who finds herself waking up in the body of someone else 90 years previous!

The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young  –  3 stars

listened to this on audiobook and it was a sweet listen, all about life on  a farm and the characters of the animals

Days of Wonder by Keith Stuart – 5 stars

Publication Date 7th June 2018

A wonderful tale from the author of  A Boy Made of Blocks, about the bond between a father and daughter facing an uncertain future.


Just the two newbies this week from lovely publishers, ahead of a blog tour and publication date!

PAPER GHOSTS by Julia Heaberlin

publication date May 15th 2018

Carl Louis Feldman is an old man who was once a celebrated photographer.

That was before he was tried for the murder of a young woman and acquitted.

Before his admission to a care home for dementia

Now his daughter has come to see him, to take him on a trip.

Only she’s not his daughter and, if she has her way, he’s not coming back . . .

Because Carl’s past has finally caught up with him. The young woman driving the car is convinced her passenger is guilty, and that he’s killed other young women. Including her sister Rachel.

Now they’re following the trail of his photographs, his clues, his alleged crimes. To see if he remembers any of it. Confesses to any of it. To discover what really happened to Rachel.

Has Carl truly forgotten what he did or is he just pretending? Perhaps he’s guilty of nothing and she’s the liar.

Either way in driving him into the Texan wilderness she’s taking a terrible risk.

For if Carl really is a serial killer, she’s alone in the most dangerous place of all . . .



Martin, a hapless journalist on a weekly financial magazine, sees his life take a nosedive with the arrival of Tom de Lacy, a well-heeled reporter who grabs the limelight, not to mention the well-paid industrial correspondent’s job that he has his eye on.

He does his level best to sabotage Tom’s career, only to see his rival land a plum job in television.

But watching his rival’s success while his life disintegrates makes Martin a desperate fellow. Falling on hard times can be murder, and in certain circumstances could even give rise to it.

So when Martin gets a scoop on a major corporate scandal, he just has to grab the opportunity with both hands. He sees it as not only his turn to shine, but his duty



Just one on the go at this moment as I’m in the process of ‘sorting’ the pile of books scattered around the house, and on the Kindle, to try and make it a little more organised!

The Wildflowers by Harriet Evans

Publication Date 5th April 2018

Tony and Althea Wilde. Glamorous, argumentative … adulterous to the core.

They were my parents, actors known by everyone. They gave our lives love and colour in a house by the sea – the house that sheltered my orphaned father when he was a boy.

But the summer Mads arrived changed everything. She too had been abandoned and my father understood why. We Wildflowers took her in.

My father was my hero, he gave us a golden childhood, but the past was always going to catch up with him … it comes for us all, sooner or later.

This is my story. I am Cordelia Wilde. A singer without a voice. A daughter without a father. Let me take you inside.


Hope you have had a lovely reading week!


The Long Forgotten by David Whitehouse #BlogTour #BookReview

forgotten (1)


So excited to be part of this Blog Tour today to share with you more details of this stunning novel, that is already on my Top Reads of 2018 list! I adore this book!! My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for letting me be part of this tour!

The Long Forgotten by David Whitehouse

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (22 Mar. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 150982751X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1509827510


Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support a local bookstore

Book Depository


When the black box flight recorder of a plane that went missing 30 years ago is found at the bottom of the sea, a young man named Dove begins to remember a past that isn’t his. The memories belong to a rare flower hunter in 1980s New York, whose search led him around the world and ended in tragedy.

Restless and lonely in present-day London, Dove is quickly consumed by the memories, which might just hold the key to the mystery of his own identity and what happened to the passengers on that doomed flight, The Long Forgotten.

The Long Forgotten is a thrilling mystery about memory and identity from David Whitehouse, the award-winning author of Bed and Mobile Library.



 I have written three novels. The first, BED, was published in 2011 by Canongate in the UK and Scribner in the US.  It won The Betty Trask Prize 2012. The movie rights were optioned by Duck Soup and Film 4.
The second, MOBILE LIBRARY, was published in January 2015 by Picador in the UK and Scribner in the US. It won the Jerwood Fiction Prize 2015 and the TV rights were optioned by Duck Soup and Channel 4.
The third, THE LONG FORGOTTEN, will be published by Picador in March 2018.
I currently have a number of TV projects in development.
I have written for lots of newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, Esquire, The Times, The Observer Magazine, Sunday Times Style and many more. I’ve won awards for journalism from The Times, The Evening Standard, the PPA and the PTC. I am the Editor-at-Large of ShortList magazine.

Website: http://www.davidwhitehouse.net/

Twitter: @d_whitehouse


Astonishing. Memorable. Touching.

Just a few of the words I noted down whilst reading this. This is my first David Whitehouse novel and will not be my last! I loved the originality of this story, the beautiful writing style and the journey it took the characters on, as well as taking me on an unforgettable journey as a reader.

Very difficult to sum this up other than this is a book about memories and about finding yourself. There is also a mystery at the heart of this story when the black box of a crashed plane – The Long Forgotten – is found and this sets off the chain of events that leads to Dove – the main character and he describes himself as single, broke and orphaned – beginning to experience the thoughts of someone else clear as day. He works for the ambulance service but even his colleagues begin to worry about him when he starts having severe headaches. These headaches are when he has his flashbacks of Peter Manyweather and his life as a plant hunter.

Peter lives in Brooklyn in the 1980’s and is a cleaner. He gets to clean up buildings where people have died and normally not found for months. One day he finds a purple flower in one flat and for some reason he is inspired to find out more about this particular flower. This leads him to a completely different life, out of character, travelling round the world in the search for rare blooms and on his travels he comes into contact with some weird and wonderful characters.

Dove begins to think he’s going mad! It also makes him look back on his past which was often troubled and through Peters’ memories he’s inspired to try and live his life a little differently too.

I loved how the threads of this story were delicately weaved together and often led you down paths you weren’t expecting! It was so beautifully written that scenes jumped right off the page. It had the right balance between mystery, discovery and emotion (yep I cried!). It really makes you think about the relevance of memories and how often it’s the bad memories that outlast the good.

If you are looking to read something a little different then please pick this book up! One of my Top Reads of 2018 already!!



Summer at the Art Cafe by Sue McDonagh #CoverReveal #ChocLit


Hello all!  An absolute treat in store for you today with yet another stunner of a cover from the wonderful team at Choc Lit ready for you to enjoy ahead of the May release!! Here’s a bit more about the book before the big reveal….

Summer at the Art Cafe by Sue McDonagh

From watercolours and cupcakes to leather jackets and freedom …  


If you won a gorgeous purple motorbike, and your domineering husband said you were too fat for leathers and should sell it, would you do as you were told – or learn to ride it in secret? 


Artist and cafe owner Lucy Daumier intends to do just that – but learning to ride is far from easy, especially under the critical eye of prickly motorcycle instructor, Ash Connor.  


But gradually she gets the hang of it, and in the process re-discovers the girl she used to be. So starts an exciting summer of new friendship and fun – as well as a realisation that there is more to Ash than meets the eye when she is introduced to his seven-year-old daughter, Daisy.  


But can Lucy’s new-found happiness last when a spiteful family member wants to see her fail?  


Summer at the Art Cafe is published on 15th May and will be available to purchase as an eBook on all platforms.  

So without further ado, here’s your first look at the beautiful cover….get ready to swoon!



Twin Truths by Shelan Rodger #BlogTour #BookReview

Extremely delighted to be part of this Blog Tour today arranged by The Dome Press and to be able to share my thoughts and a little bit more information about this book that I struggled to put down once I’d started! Having read, and thoroughly enjoyed,  The Yellow Room  from this author previously, I was intrigued to pick this new book up from her, and I haven’t been disappointed! It’s another highly polished and stunning read.


What is the truth? And how do you recognise it when you hear it? Jenny and Pippa are twins. Like many twins they often know what the other is thinking. They complete each other. When Pippa disappears Jenny is left to face the world alone, as she tries to find out what happened to her ‘other half.’ But the truth, for Jenny, can be a slippery thing.

“Provocative, unsettling and beautifully written, this clever story is instantly involving and utterly intriguing. Twin Truths kept me thinking long after I’d finished it. I highly recommend this book, but I’m not giving my copy away!”
Janet Ellis, author of The Butcher’s Hook

“I find myself rereading passages in Twin Truths because the writing is so beautiful and the imagery superb! Stunning book.”
Elizabeth Forbes, author of Nearest Thing To Crazy

“| could literally swim in the writing. So beautiful and so controlled.”
Amanda Jennings, author of In Her Wake

“Achingly sexy, cosmopolitan, revelatory, disturbing and real. Shelan Rodger takes us through love, loss and madness in a debut that is rich in character and storytelling.”
Aidan Hartley, author of The Zanzibar Chest

Published by The Dome Press

Amazon UK

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support a local bookstore

Book Depository


Shelan’s life is a patchwork of different cultures. Born in Nigeria, she grew up among the Tiwi, an aboriginal community in Australia, and moved to England at the age of eleven. After graduating in Modern Languages from Oxford, she travelled to Argentina, where she spent nine years teaching and setting up a language school. Another chapter in England was followed by six years in Kenya, where she got involved in learning and development, with an emphasis on anti-discrimination. She now lives in Spain, working in international education – and writing.


What a riveting read!! Another one of those books that I couldn’t put down once I’d picked it up as it keeps you guessing from first page to last!

Jenny and Pippa are twins. They are extremely close so when Pippa disappears, Jenny is left to face the world alone and wants to find out the truth of what happened to her sister, to make sense of her place in the world.

The story is told in 3 parts – Part One is set in Argentina where Jenny is teaching english to businessmen and you really get the sense she likes being unknown in a foreign country. She has friends there but they know very little, if anything, of her past and that is how she likes it. She is even evasive when seeing her psychologist, Ignacio, and he finds her an intriguing character to see and finds himself thinking of her even when he’s not scheduled to meet her.

In Part Two, we get the story from the point of view of Pippa and is their story as children and this is when you get to really get a look at the characters. Jenny was the rebel and went off the rails, whereas Pippa found solace in books and was a total swot. Such an interesting outlook on things they went through, how they differed as personalities and how their lives took them on different journeys and how experiences they had shaped them and made them who they are.

And in Part Three the story reveals things I’d never even considered and this made the impact of this book even more astonishing for me as a reader!

There are dark undertones throughout this book, and the short snappy chapters really helped the repercussions hit home and I found that the author had such a confident style of writing within this book. There are disturbing and difficult subjects discussed but they were dealt with sensitively and I was thoroughly gripped by the drama and emotions throughout.


My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up – Week 12 2018

Hello!!! Another week has whizzed by! No snow to report this week, just some beautiful blue skies amd milder temperatures to enjoy these past 7 days – I bet it doesn’t last! And the clocks are going forward in the UK – a lost hour of sleeping/reading!! Disgraceful!

And on the reading front it has been another fabulous week for me – I do other things other than reading honest!! But my reading speed has definitely quickened over the past couple of years and I’m finding TV is becoming less appealing so can happily spend an evening now or a weekend with my nose in a book or two!! So I’ve finished 6 books this week including 1 audiobook – another great way of helping you read more as you can do other stuff while you’re listening! – and there may have been a bit of book post arriving to fill my shelves up once more!


The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell – 5 stars

Adored this creepy read!!!


Another ace read that took me right back the 1980’s!

The Widow’s House by Carol Goodman –  2 stars

 I listened to the audio version of this via BorrowBox and the story was ok BUT the annoying couple just made me hate all that happened!

THE HAPPY TREE by Rosalind Murray – 3 stars

An interesting story from the Persephone collection. Fascinating look at life through the eyes of a woman looking back over her life


A heartwarming, lovely, quick read that gave me all the feels!


I’ve recently subscribed to A Year of Reading Classics courtesy of Alma Books  as I love their range of classics and covers so each month you get sent a book, which you can choose from their extensive range, and the first one arrived today!

The Eternal Husband by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Eternal Husband (Russian: Вечный муж, Vechny muzh) is a novel by Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky that was first published in 1870 in Zarya magazine. The plot revolves around the complicated relationship between Velchaninov and Trusotsky, the husband of his deceased former lover.

And another subscription club I’m part of is the Random Book Club where, amazingly enough, you get sent a random book each month from the largest second hand bookshop in Scotland! This arrived today!

Oil by Upton Sinclair

In Oil! Upton Sinclair fashioned a novel out of the oil scandals of the Harding administration, providing in the process a detailed picture of the development of the oil industry in Southern California. Bribery of public officials, class warfare, and international rivalry over oil production are the context for Sinclair’s story of a genial independent oil developer and his son, whose sympathy with the oilfield workers and socialist organizers fuels a running debate with his father. Senators, small investors, oil magnates, a Hollywood film star, and a crusading evangelist people the pages of this lively novel.

I’ve also been restrained on NetGalley so just one newbie added to my shelf there!

ELEFANT by Martin Suter

The international bestseller about friendship, second chances, and a tiny glow-in-the-dark pink elephant
What would you do if you woke up to see a living, breathing, tiny, glowing, pink elephant? If you’re anything like Schoch, who lives on the streets of Zürich and is decidedly down on his luck, you might well think it’s time to put away the bottle before your hallucinations get any stranger, and go back to sleep.

But what if the tiny pink elephant is still there when you wake up? And clearly needs someone to take care of it? And what if you discover that it’s been created through genetic engineering, by a group of scientists who just want to use it to get rich and don’t care about the elephant’s welfare? And that they’re in cahoots with a circus and will stop at nothing to get it back?

What if this little elephant is about to change your life?


The Victorian Chaise Longue by Marghanita Laski

Too Close To Breathe by Olivia Kiernan

Hope your week has been filled with lots of lovely bookish goodness!!  Ooh one last thing before I go – took delivery of a rather fabulous bookish reading lamp today from the KleverCase website – I just couldn’t resist it when the email appeared in my inbox!




The Book Courtship Tag

Thank you to Jessie at Dwell In Possibility who has tagged me to take part in The Book Courtship Tag – let the romance begin……


Phase 1: Initial Attraction (A book you bought because of the cover)

Ink by Alice Broadway
Bought this week for exactly this reason! It’s shines and everything! So pretty!!! No idea what it’s about!

 Phase 2: First Impressions (A book you got because of the summary)

The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen
A fascinating and quirky book that lived up to the blurb I read that hooked me in!

Phase 3: Sweet Talk (A book with great writing)

A Thousand Paper Birds by Tor Udall
A beautiful book inside and out!

Phase 4: First Date (A first book of a series which made you want to pursue the rest of the series)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K.Rowling
Very predictable I know but it was just a magical experience from start to finish!

Phase 5: Late Night Phone Calls (A book that kept you up all night long)

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon
Once I’d started reading this I was so emotionally involved with the characters that I stayed up reading  into the morning until it was finished!

Phase 6: Always On My Mind (A book you couldn’t stop thinking about)

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Adore this book and it’s one that stays with you as a reader!

 7: Getting Physical (A book you love the feel of)

The Penguin Clothbound Classic Collection
I want them all!!!

Phase 8: Meeting the Parents (A book you would recommend to your friends and family)

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
I loved this book – even if it did make me sob – and think it has something for everyone to enjoy.

Phase 9: Thinking About the Future (A book or series that you know you’ll re-read many times in the future)

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
One of the reasons I love reading so much so it always is somewhere I love to go and revisit!

Phase 10: Share the Love (Here’s who I’m tagging)

If you’ve already been tagged, then sorry, and if I haven’t tagged you but you’d like to do it anyway go ahead!!