Delighted to be with you today as part of the awesome Blog Tour for the fabulous OUR LADY OF MYSTERIOUS AILMENTS by T.L.HUCHU. My thanks to the author, publisher and team at Black Crow PR for letting me be part of it all!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Some secrets are meant to stay buried
When Ropa Moyo discovered an occult underground library, she expected great things. She’s really into Edinburgh’s secret societies – but turns out they are less into her. So instead of getting paid to work magic, she’s had to accept a crummy unpaid internship. And her with bills to pay and a pet fox to feed.
Then her friend Priya offers her a job on the side. Priya works at Our Lady of Mysterious Maladies, a very specialized hospital, where a new illness is resisting magical and medical remedies alike. The first patient was a teenage boy, Max Wu, and his healers are baffled. If Ropa can solve the case, she might earn as she learns – and impress her mentor, Sir Callander.
Her sleuthing will lead her to a lost fortune, an avenging spirit and a secret buried deep in Scotland’s past. But how are they connected? Lives are at stake and Ropa is running out of time.
The fun and intrigue continues here in Book 2 of the Edinburgh Nights series, and once more I couldn’t get enough! The odd goings on continue and Ropa is at the heart of it all again as she is keen to find out more about the underground library, along with doing all she can to assist those in need, and take care of her family!
Her life as a ghosttalker means there’s never a dull moment, and they still pop up whenever they are in need of assistance and make it very difficult for her to ignore! No matter how hard she tries! Money is at the heart of the matter for her as she wants to help out more at home, with her grandmother and sister so when she’s offered money to help investigate some strange illnesses at the hospital she can’t turn it down and it leads to some rather shocking discoveries. She goes into full ‘detective’ mode as she tries to figure out who the patient – Max – was in touch with before he became ill and what he’s mixed up in that isn’t of this world!
I loved this latest installment! There were no lulls, there’s great banter galore and you’re just drawn into this world so easily. It has a really fresh feel about it and plenty of snark in the humour – I do love that aspect of a story!! It has a great mix of the supernatural, the mystery, history and all things in between, and I think the character of Ropa is such a fascinating creature! She’s pro-active, hard working and has a great sense of fairness about it. She could easily crumble but has this inner resilience that is really empowering!
The most beguiling debut of 2022, perfect for fans of The Essex Serpent, The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock and The Binding. She is awake…
Norfolk, 1643. With civil war tearing England apart, reluctant soldier Thomas Treadwater is summoned home by his sister, who accuses a new servant of improper conduct with their widowed father. By the time Thomas returns home, his father is insensible, felled by a stroke, and their new servant is in prison, facing charges of witchcraft.
Thomas prides himself on being a rational, modern man, but as he unravels the mystery of what has happened, he uncovers not a tale of superstition but something dark and ancient, linked to a shipwreck years before.
Something has awoken, and now it will not rest.
Richly researched, incredibly atmospheric, and deliciously unsettling, The Leviathan is set in England during a time of political turbulence and religious zealotry. It is a tale of family and loyalty, superstition and sacrifice, but most of all it is a spellbinding story of impossible things.
I found this to be an enthralling piece of historical fiction, with some brilliant supernatural/witchcraft elements that didn’t feel too out of place considering the time period that the story was set in. It centres around a family whose life is torn apart by some strange incidents, leaving the cynical brother Thomas to start his own investigations as to what may have took place in his home while he was away fighting in the English Civil War.
The timeline does jump around a bit which does take a bit of getting used to, but definitely adds to the twists and turns throughout the story and keeps you on your toes as a reader trying to work out where the story will take you to next. With witchcraft the hot topic of the time, the focus of the intrigue always leads you down that path, but Thomas isn’t one to look so kindly on hearsay and he wants to see for himself and isn’t easily swayed by local gossip.
It’s a turbulent time in the country, and that turbulence plays out in his own family with his sister calling him home after their father is felled by a stroke and Thomas needs to be there to take over the farm. His sister tells him of the ‘evil’ servant who she blames for this and says her father was bewitched. There’s an awful lot of dead animals around too at the farm and the weirdness just overwhelms them.
There’s also a later timeline to follow when Thomas is married to Mary and he has a different kind of life now, but the past never seems to be so far away and I loved that different viewpoint and stage in his life. The intrigue throughout was really well pitched and you could sense the fear of the locals of the unknown.
I loved this story from start to finish – the darkness, the gasps it made me emit throughout and it really does a great job of keeping that historical feel, alongside the myths and faith that were at the fore of society. A stunning debut!!
They say we’ll never know what happened to those men.
They say the sea keeps its secrets…
Cornwall, 1972. Three keepers vanish from a remote lighthouse, miles from the shore. The entrance door is locked from the inside. The clocks have stopped. The Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a mighty storm, but the skies have been clear all week.
What happened to those three men, out on the tower? The heavy sea whispers their names. The tide shifts beneath the swell, drowning ghosts. Can their secrets ever be recovered from the waves?
Twenty years later, the women they left behind are still struggling to move on. Helen, Jenny and Michelle should have been united by the tragedy, but instead it drove them apart. And then a writer approaches them. He wants to give them a chance to tell their side of the story. But only in confronting their darkest fears can the truth begin to surface . . .
The Lamplighters is a heart-stopping mystery rich with the salty air of the Cornish coast, and an unforgettable story of love and grief that explores the way our fears blur the line between the real and the imagined.
Holy Moly!! This is one of those books that leaves you feeling bereft when it ends! The characters take over your every thought and you’re left experiencing every kind of emotion as you read their stories unfold in front of your eyes. And all set against the backdrop of an imposing lighthouse and the unpredictability of the sea.
The story is told as now and then! Looking back at the families of the men who worked on the lighthouse and how they dealt with the mystery of the men’s disappearance on one fateful night. There’s no sign of a struggle, they left no trace behind … so where did they go and what happened to them? The book is based on a real life event, but the author has a wonderful time reimagining the events surrounding the disappearance and the impact on the families left behind.
With the story being told from both the viewpoint of the men as they worked on the lighthouse, and to the women dealing with life married to them and the years that followed after their disappearance, you really get a wonderful sense of how the isolation the men often felt, alongside how the women coped and tried to come to terms with their lives after – their own theories of what happened and the letters shared between the women as their friendships shattered.
There’s so much going on within each chapter and revelation. I loved the way the story came back to life as the mystery was looked into by a writer who wanted to try and get to the bottom of it all. Old wounds are reopened and feelings have to be confronted.
A wonderfully evocative book that has a little bit of every genre in it and I adored every single second of it!!
The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…
Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?
Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?
Is the role of Esme Black cursed? Could witchcraft be at the heart of the tragedy? And are dark deeds from Chloe’s past about to catch up with her?
Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.
And Chloe has been watching…
PUBLISHED BY ORENDA
I listened to the audio version of this book… wow!
I think that pretty much sums up my thoughts on this book! I always love the stories that Louise creates, and this one just gets under your skin from the get go. With 2 timelines, the past and present, we are based at a theatre and following the story of Chloe who is working there as an usher. She’s always wanted to be an actress but this is the closest she has got to her dream! The show Dust is set to return to the theatre, 20 years after the opening, which went down in infamy due to the murder of the main character. She’s thought to haunt the theatre still….
In Chloe’s past, she and 2 friends mucked around with a ouija board and had some chilling encounters that have played a big part in how their lives panned out. As the past starts to reconnect with the present, Chloe is facing some haunting challenges ahead that makes her think she might be losing her mind.
The 2 timelines worked so well with each other!! Having the backdrop of the Theatre alongside the tragedy of Dust from 20 years ago, it really sets the scene for so many questions and wondering just what happened back then and seeing how messing about with the ouija board had such an impact and why Chloe is key to it all.
I couldn’t stop listening to this once I’d started! I found myself picturing the theatre, imagining the terror and confusion of the characters as things played out, and hearing the voices of the past whispering their truths…….. loved it!!!
These are a few of Lexie Farrington’s favourite things, and when she walks into the Thistledean Café in Edinburgh, she’s delighted to find all three: coffee, cake, a big black cat on a purple lead being held by a very grumpy-looking pirate. Okay, maybe she wasn’t quite expecting that one …
Of course, Billy McCreadie isn’t really a pirate; he just knows a lot about them and is on his way to give a historical talk to school kids, hence the get-up. He’s also in desperate need of a cat sitter.When Lexie steps in, little does she realise that Billy will be the key to a hidden Edinburgh she would have never discovered herself, and he might also be the man to help solve a certain piratical puzzle of her own …
The world always seems like a happier place when Schubert is around, so I was so glad to read the latest installment of the series – although these books are easily read as standalone!
Schubert appears in the life of Lexie this time around and he’s being looked after by Nessa’s brother Billy. It’s not the ideal situation for Billy as he’s got some historical talks to do and finds himself dressed as a Pirate …! But the pirate look grabs the attention of Lexie when she visits the cafe he is in, and Schubert works his magic once more in introducing them to each other!
Their shared love of history and cemeteries bond them quickly, and they soon find themselves on a quest to find out more about a mysterious woman who appears in their life. This is no ordinary search though as it opens up fascinating stories from the past and adds a twist to their time spent in cemeteries!! The historical rabbit hole they find themselves disappearing down was brilliant!
I always love reconnecting with Schubert and the cast of characters around him – this is another fun read that you’ll find yourself racing through and wishing you had a chatty, helpful, meddlesome cat in your life!!
Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghost talker – and she now speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children – leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honour bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.
She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan . . .) as she calls on Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets. And in the process, she discovers an occult library and some unexpected allies. Yet as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?
Opening up a world of magic and adventure, The Library of the Dead by T. L. Huchu is the first book in the Edinburgh Nights series.
What a brilliant way to start off a series!! I’m already itching to carry on the adventures with Ropa and the supernatural world she finds herself in! This is one of those books that quickly draws you in and doesn’t let go of you easy!
Ropa sees dead people! She also speaks to them and uses this ability as a way of making some money to help support her family – she passes on messages from the dead to the living, helping to rid houses of ghosts and letting those ghosts find some peace.
But she’s also struggling to make ends meet day to day, and when one of her jobs has the prospect of no money she isn’t too keen to devote much time to it – but the other world has different ideas! Ropa is a gutsy character who doesn’t like to let people down so when she hears of a ghost wanting help in finding her son who has gone missing, she starts the search. And what she finds is more chilling than she dare imagine.
Beware of the Midnight Milkman! He is a character destined to give you nightmares and tracking him down doesn’t prove easy. I loved the thrill of the chase in this story – the research, the inventiveness of Ropa and her friend in using the resources of The Library of the Dead in helping them on their quest to save children from harm.
This was a really fun and atmospheric way to start off a series and I cannot wait to see what the author has in store for us in Book 2
My thanks to Stephen at Tor Books for the advanced reading copy in return for a fair and honest review.
Keep your eyes peeled for a small black iron door.Down the road from a working-class British pub, along the brick wall of a narrow alley, if the conditions are exactly right, you’ll find the entrance to Slade House. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won’t want to leave. Later, you’ll find that you can’t. Every nine years, the house’s residents — an odd brother and sister — extend a unique invitation to someone who’s different or lonely: a precocious teenager, a recently divorced policeman, a shy college student. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it’s already too late…Spanning five decades, from the last days of the 1970s to the present, leaping genres, and barreling toward an astonishing conclusion, this intricately woven novel will pull you into a reality-warping new vision of the haunted house story—as only David Mitchell could imagine it. MY REVIEW
Book 3 of my 20 Books of Summer 2020.
This was more miss than hit for me, unfortunately. I don’t know if I wanted it to be more weird, more scary, more humourous! But it just fell short on all counts for me as you didn’t get to spend enough time in the company of various characters to care enough what fate befell them! Maybe if I had read Bone Clocks before it would have all made a little more sense….
The house itself was a fascinating prospect with all its’ odd goings on, as well as the twins Jonah and Norah as their story was intriguing to say the least – I would have loved to have just read all about them and their abilities
With 20 Books of Summer just finished I’ve been looking for another little reading challenge to see me through – and the lovely Nikki of The Secret Library Site reminded me that this reading challenge is back so here I am to sign myself up!
The emphasis is never on the word challenge, instead it is about coming together as a community and embracing the autumnal mood, whether the weather is cooperative where you live or not.
The goals are simple.
1. Have fun reading.
2. Share that fun with others.
I like a flexible and fun reading challenge so have been having a rummage through my bookshelves, and took a trip to the local library and have picked out a few possibilities that I’m hoping to get to over the next 2 months! And we all know what I’m like with lists so I’m sure different books may/will be chosen as and when! Will see how the mood grabs me!!
MEMENTO MORI by PAUL HOLBROOK
Whitechapel, London 1877 Sibelius Darke is a man rising to the top of his profession. He is a photographer by trade, but the subjects of his pictures are quite unusual, for they are dead. Darke offers a unique service; family portraits taken with the recently deceased. The rich and the powerful wish to acquire his services and he is only too willing to do what he must to attain his dreams. However after hearing a warning from the mouth of a dead child, a monster begins to stalk the streets, killing children. A beast from Darke’s own childhood nightmares. Seen as a suspect in the eyes of the police, can he stop the killer himself? Or will it take and destroy everything that he holds dear?
Memento Mori is a Supernatural Murder Mystery Novel set in Late Victorian London. Mixing Finnish mythology with 19th century degradation and depravity, Memento Mori tells a story of murder, madness and corruption at the heart of Victorian high society.
WE by YEVGENY ZAMYATIN
We takes place in a distant future, where humans are forced to submit their wills to the requirements of the state, under the rule of the all-powerful Benefactor, and dreams are regarded as a sign of mental illness. In a city of straight lines, protected by green walls and a glass dome, a spaceship is being built in order to spearhead the conquest of new planets. Its chief engineer, a man called D-503, keeps a journal of his life and activities: to his mathematical mind everything seems to make sense and proceed as it should, until a chance encounter with a woman threatens to shatter the very foundations of the world he lives in.
Written in a highly charged, direct and concise style, Zamyatin’s 1921 seminal novel – here presented in Hugh Aplin’s crisp translation – is not only an indictment of the Soviet Russia of his time and a precursor of the works of Orwell and the dystopian genre, but also a prefiguration of much of twentieth-century history and a harbinger of the ominous future that may still lay ahead of us.
THE SHINING by STEPHEN KING
Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote . . . and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old.
THIS CENSUS TAKER by CHINA MIEVILLE
For readers of George Saunders, Kelly Link, and Karen Russell, This Census Taker is the poignant and uncanny new novella from award-winning and bestselling author China Miéville. After witnessing a profoundly traumatic event, a boy is left alone in a remote house on a hilltop with his increasingly deranged parent. When a stranger knocks on his door, the boy senses that his days of isolation are over—but by what authority does this man keep the meticulous records he carries? Is he the boy’s friend? His enemy? Or something altogether other?
MR GODLEY’S PHANTOM by MAL PEET
A haunting masterpiece from storyteller Mal Peet. Part ghost story, part detective novel and part something else entirely, Mr Godley’s Phantom is something of an enigma, with its own distinctive fifties flavour of cigarettes, petrol and mystery.
THE GIRL WHO COULD MOVE SH*T WITH HER MIND by JACKSON FORD
For Teagan Frost, sh*t just got real.
Teagan Frost is having a hard time keeping it together. Sure, she’s got telekinetic powers—a skill that the government is all too happy to make use of, sending her on secret break-in missions that no ordinary human could carry out. But all she really wants to do is kick back, have a beer, and pretend she’s normal for once.
But then a body turns up at the site of her last job—murdered in a way that only someone like Teagan could have pulled off. She’s got 24 hours to clear her name—and it’s not just her life at stake. If she can’t unravel the conspiracy in time, her hometown of Los Angeles will be in the crosshairs of an underground battle that’s on the brink of exploding…
Full of imagination, wit and random sh*t flying through the air, this insane adventure from an irreverent new voice will blow your tiny mind.
So I may to get all of these, or may just read 1! I’m just looking forward to a few different reads over the next 8 weeks Just hope they don’t scare me too much……..
Delighted to bring you my thoughts today on THE OLD DRAGON’S HEAD by JUSTIN NEWLAND as part of the fabulous Blog Tour. My thanks to the author, publisher and Kelly of LoveBooksTours for putting it all together and letting me be part of it!
Constructed of stone and packed earth, the Great Wall of 10,000 li protects China’s northern borders from the threat of Mongol incursion. The wall is also home to a supernatural beast: the Old Dragon. The Old Dragon’s Head is the most easterly point of the wall, where it finally meets the sea.
In every era, a Dragon Master is born. Endowed with the powers of Heaven, only he can summon the Old Dragon so long as he possess the dragon pearl.It’s the year 1400, and neither the Old Dragon, the dragon pearl, nor the Dragon Master, has been seen for twenty years. Bolin, a young man working on the Old Dragon’s Head, suffers visions of ghosts. Folk believe he has yin-yang eyes and other paranormal gifts.
When Bolin’s fief lord, the Prince of Yan, rebels against his nephew, the Jianwen Emperor, a bitter war of succession ensues in which the Mongols hold the balance of power. While the victor might win the battle on earth, China’s Dragon Throne can only be earned with a Mandate from Heaven – and the support of the Old Dragon.Bolin embarks on a journey of self-discovery, mirroring Old China’s endeavour to come of age. When Bolin accepts his destiny as the Dragon Master, Heaven sends a third coming of age – for humanity itself. But are any of them ready for what is rising in the east?
Show me a book with a dragon in it and I want to know about it! And this fabulous adventure didn’t let me down as it had a little bit of everything in there for me to enjoy – mystery, humour, fantasy, power struggles and good old fashioned treachery!
At the heart of the story is Bolin who is coming to terms with having strange visions and headaches and wondering what to make of it all. He lives a simple life as a fishermans’ son so to have visions is something unheard of. There has always been a dragon master around but none has been seen for 20 years – with it comes great power.
AT the same time there’s an awful lot of power struggles going on with various other characters. And woe betide you if you get in the way! As Bolin goes looking for answers, we also find the character Feng looking to find answers to the goings on in his life and there are plenty of people who don’t want them to find out the truth.
With the threat of the Mongol Army attacking the town never far away, he tension is always rising and I loved all the little subplots coming together and keeping you on your toes as to where the story was going, and what secrets from the past were next to be revealed – and what consequences they would lead to!
This book was an enjoyable mix of history with the supernatural and was really well paced. Destiny plays a big part in this story too and I’m hoping there will be further adventures featuring these characters so we can watch them on their journey!