Book Review: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis #Narniathon21

This was a reread of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) as part of #Narniathon21 hosted by Chris at Calmgrove. He has discussion prompts for the book up so do head there if you'd like to join in. Banner from Calmgrove The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a truly classic children's…

Book Review: The Sittaford Mystery (1931) by Agatha Christie

The Sittaford Mystery (or The Murder at Hazelmoor), a standalone by the Queen of Crime, first published in 1931, is a quite perfect read for the season with a murder in a snowed-in English village difficult to navigate, a fair few suspects, and a touch of spookiness! Our story opens in the small village of…

Book Review: An Episode of Sparrows by Rumer Godden #RumerGoddenReadingWeek2021

An Episode of Sparrows (1955) is a story of friendship and love, of family and belonging, of dreams and dreamers, understanding and misunderstanding, and one that is essentially uplifting and warm, and brought a smile to my face (even if there were some heart-wrenching moments). Set in post-war London, where the impacts of the war…

Book Review: The Village of Eight Graves by Seishi Yokomizo

My thanks to Pushkin Press and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. While I have read and enjoyed a fair few Japanese titles, despite all good intentions, I hadn’t gotten down to picking up any mystery title yet; this book gave me the chance to remedy that, and I enjoyed it very much…

Book Review: The River Within by Karen Powell

My thanks to Europa Editions and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. In The River Within, Karen Powell brings Hamlet to Yorkshire in the 1950s, or rather, within the broader mould of the Hamlet plot, weaves her own engrossing and intense tale. The book opens with the finding of a body—Danny Masters, a…

Book Review: The Prince of the Skies by Antonio Iturbe

My thanks to Pan Macmillan and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. While I’ve read The Little Prince many times, and find it an endearing read, full of little nuggets of wisdom, I knew very little about its author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, except that he was an aristocrat, a pilot, and an author…

Book Review: Death of a Busybody by George Bellairs

Death of a Busybody (1942) is the third of a series of nearly sixty mystery books featuring Inspector (later Chief Inspector, etc.) Thomas Littlejohn, published between 1941 and 1980. Death of a Busybody brings us to one of twin villages, Hilary Magna (the other being Hilary Parva), where the skinny and scholarly vicar, Rev. Ethelred…

Book Review: The Golden Gate by Alistair MacLean #1976Club

The Golden Gate by Alistair MacLean is my second pick for the #1976Club hosted by Karen at Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings and Simon at Stuck in a Book. The Golden Gate is a suspense–thriller, around a meticulously planned, daring kidnapping. The book opens with master-criminal Branson, who with his crew is beginning to give effect to…

Book Review: The Improbable Adventures of Miss Emily Soldene: Actress, Writer and Rebel Victorian by Helen Batten

My thanks to Allison and Busby and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. The Improbable Adventures of Emily Soldene: Actress, Writer and Rebel Victorian is an entertaining and very readable biography of a rather extraordinary woman—Emily Soldene who was a singer, actress, director, writer and much much more—a woman who wanted fame but…

Book Review: The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki

My thanks to Canongate and Netgalley for a review copy of this book. The Book of Form and Emptiness is certainly a strange book, a story about loss and coping, about depression and mental illness, about friends and support systems, and of course, about books, for it is a book that tells us the story,…