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 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: 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 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: Light Rains Sometimes Fall by Lev Parikian

My thanks to Elliot and Thompson and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. ‘Stop and smell the roses’ we are sometimes told or tell ourselves. Slow down, look about, and take in the beauty and wonders of life around you at all times—it isn’t just flowers, but birds, insects, bees and butterflies, trees…

Book Review: The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

My thanks to Penguin UK and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. The Man Who Died Twice is the second book in the Thursday Murder Club (the Agatha Christie/Marple allusion just struck me when writing my review) series by Richard Osman. Set in a retirement village, Coopers Chase, the Thursday Murder Club comprises…

Book Review: Dr Wortle’s School by Anthony Trollope

Dr Wortle’s School (1881) is a standalone and the fortieth book written by Victorian author Anthony Trollope and focuses on themes of morality, justice, social propriety, and gossip, with an incidental thread of romance. Dr Wortle is the proprietor of a boys’ school which prepares students to go on to Eton and eventually Oxford. He…

Book Review: Crooked House by Agatha Christie

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile…. And they all lived together in a little crooked house. Like Five Little Pigs; One, Two Buckle my Shoe (also published as The Patriotic Murders); and A Pocket Full of Rye, among many others Crooked House (1949), a standalone Christie novel too, takes inspiration…