WWW Wednesday: 18 July 2018


WWW Wednesday is run by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading: The Tudor Crown by Joanna Hickson. I know very little about Henry VII, so I’m thoroughly enjoying reading this book. It begins in 1471 as Henry, then aged 14,  and his uncle, Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembroke, are at sea off the coast of South Wales on course for France, when a storm forces them to land in Brittany. There they found refuge with Francis, Duke of Brittany for the next 14 years.



When Edward of York takes back the English crown, the Wars of the Roses scatter the Lancastrian nobility and young Henry Tudor, with a strong claim to the throne, is forced into exile.

Recently widowed and vulnerable, his mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, forges an uncomfortable alliance with Edward’s queen, Elizabeth Woodville. Swearing an oath of allegiance to York, Margaret agrees to marry the king’s shrewdest courtier, Lord Stanley. But can she tread the precarious line between duty to her husband, loyalty to her son, and her obligation to God and the king?

When tragedy befalls Edward’s reign, Richard of York’s ruthless actions fire the ambition of mother and son. As their destinies converge each of them will be exposed to betrayal and treachery and in their gruelling bid for the Tudor crown, both must be prepared to pay the ultimate price…

I’ve recently finished: Camino Island by John Grisham, which was not what I expected. It begins well with a daring robbery but then slows down almost to a snail’s pace.

Camino Island



The most daring and devastating heist in literary history targets a high security vault located deep beneath Princeton University.

Valued at $25 million (though some would say priceless) the five manuscripts of F Scott Fitzgerald’s only novels are amongst the most valuable in the world. After an initial flurry of arrests, both they and the ruthless gang of thieves who took them have vanished without trace.

Now it falls to struggling writer Mercer Mann to crack a case that has thwarted the FBI’s finest minds.

My next book is most likely to be No Further Questions byGillian McAllister. I thought  her first book Everything But the Truth was brilliant, so I have high hopes for this book.



The police say she’s guilty.

She insists she’s innocent.

She’s your sister.

You loved her.

You trusted her.

But they say she killed your child.

Who do you believe?

Have you read any of these books?  Do any of them tempt you? 

First Chapter First Paragraph: End in Tears by Ruth Rendell

Every Tuesday First Chapter, First Paragraph/Intros is hosted by Vicky of I’d Rather Be at the Beach sharing the first paragraph or two of a book she’s reading or plans to read soon.

This week’s book is End in Tears by Ruth Rendell, one of the books for my 10 Books of Summer Challenge.

End In Tears (Inspector Wexford, #20)


When he lifted it off the seat the backpack felt heavier than when he had first put it into the car. He lowered it on to the soft ferny ground. Then he got back into the driving seat to move the car deep into a cave made by hawthorn bushes and brambles, and the hop vines which climbed over everything in this wood. It was late June and the vegetation was very dense and luxuriant.

Blurb (Goodreads):

The twentieth book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford.

A lump of concrete dropped deliberately from a little stone bridge over a relatively unfrequented road kills the wrong person. The young woman in the car behind is spared. But only for a while…

A few weeks later, George Marshalson lives every father’s worst nightmare: he discovers the murdered body of his eighteen-year-old daughter on the side of the road.

As a man with a strained father-daughter relationship himself, Wexford must struggle to keep his professional life as a detective separate from his personal life as husband and father. Particularly when a second teenage girl is murdered – a victim unquestionably linked to the first – and another family is shattered…

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

I’ve had this book for about three years and I think I’ve started it once before – the opening chapter looks familiar. I’ve had mixed reactions to Ruth Rendell’s books, preferring the ones she’s written under the name, Barbara Vine. It may be one I’ll pass on – if you’ve read it do let me know what you think.

On Beulah Height by Reginald Hill

I’ve been doing quite well with reading books for my 10 Books of Summer Challenge – but not so well at writing reviews of them.

On Beulah Height (Dalziel & Pascoe, #17)

So here is a quick review of the first of my 10 Books. It’s also one of my TBRs, a book I’ve owned for a couple of years:

I loved On Beulah Height is Reginald Hill’s 17th Dalziel and Pascoe novel. He wrote 25 in this series and although it would probably make sense to get a picture of their development I’ve been reading them out of order. It doesn’t seem to matter much, but in this one there are a few references to something that had happened in an earlier case (told in The Wood Beyond) that had affected Pascoe personally. It had  filled him with anger and it is still affecting him, whilst investigating this case. But this book can easily be read as a standalone novel.

It is not just a crime fiction novel, it is also a book that raises many issues about parenthood, the relationship between families and their children and the devastation and anguish of parents and a community at the loss of a child.

I’d really like to re-read it some time as it is a complex book, that begins with a transcript written by Betsy Allgood, then aged seven, telling what had happened in the little village of Dendale in Yorkshire before the valley was flooded to provide a reservoir. That summer three little girls had gone missing. No bodies were ever found, and the best suspect, a strange lad named Benny Lightfoot, was held for a time, then released. Benny then disappeared from the area

Fifteen years later another little girl, Lorraine, also aged seven went out for a walk one morning with her dog before her parents got up and didn’t return home, reviving memories of the missing children from fifteen years earlier. It was a case that has haunted Dalziel – and the fears increase when a message appeared, sprayed on the walls: BENNY’S  BACK. It’s been a hot, dry summer and the buildings beneath the reservoir are gradually becoming visible and tensions are rising as memories of the missing children increase the fears for Lorraine’s safety.

This book is tightly plotted with many twists that made me change my mind so many times I gave up trying to work out who the murderer was and just read for the pleasure of reading. Hill’s descriptive writing is rich and full of imagery. The main characters are fully rounded people and the supporting cast are believable personalities, often described with wry humour.

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (30 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007313179
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007313174
  • Source: I bought the book
  • My rating: 5*

The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse

Pan Macmillan, Mantle|3 May 2018 |603 pages|e-book |Review copy|4*

First Chapter First Paragraph: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Every Tuesday First Chapter, First Paragraph/Intros is hosted by Vicky of I’d Rather Be at the Beach sharing the first paragraph or two of a book she’s reading or plans to read soon.

This week’s book is The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware, one of the books for my 10 Books of Summer Challenge.

The Woman in Cabin 10

It begins with a dream

In my dream, the girl was drifting, far, far below the crashing waves and the cries of the gulls, in the cold, sun-less depths of the North Sea. Her laughing eyes were white and bloated with salt water, her pale skin was wrinkled, her clothes ripped by jagged rocks and disintegrating into rags.

and continues with

Part One – Friday 18 September

The first inkling that something was wrong was waking in darkness to find the cat pawing my face. I must have forgotten to shut the kitchen door last night. Punishment for coming home drunk.

Blurb (from the back cover):

This was meant to be the perfect trip. The Northern Lights. A luxury press launch on a boutique cruise ship.

A chance for travel journalist Lo Blacklock to recover from a traumatic break-in that has left her on the verge of collapse.

Except things don’t go as planned.

Woken in the night by screams, Lo rushes to her window to see a body thrown overboard from the next door cabin. But the records show that no-one ever checked into that cabin, and no passengers are missing from the boat.

Exhausted and emotional, Lo has to face the fact that she may have made a mistake – either that, or she is now trapped on a boat with a murderer…

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

I haven’t read any of Ruth Ware’s books, but I like the look of this book and the opening paragraph in part one amused me – if we don’t shut the bedroom door I’m often woken by the cat pawing my face … fortunately I’m not planning to go on a cruise!

Six in Six: 2018

I’m pleased to see that Jo at The Book Jotter  is running this meme again this year to summarise six months of reading, sorting the books into six categories – you can choose from the ones Jo suggests or come up with your own. The same book can obviously feature in more than one category.

Here are my six categories (with links to my reviews):

Six books I have enjoyed (just some of the 5* books I’ve read this year)

  1. After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell
  2. The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale
  3. Watching You by Lisa Jewell
  4. Munich by Robert Harris
  5. The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor
  6. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Six new authors to me

  1. Notes From An Exhibition by Patrick Gale
  2. Force of Nature by Jane Harper
  3. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  4. The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox
  5. The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie
  6. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simsonson

Six books from the past that drew me back there

  1. The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin
  2. The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen
  3. The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey
  4. The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney
  5. Her Hidden Life by V S Alexander
  6. The Fire Court by Andrew Taylor

Six Non-British Authors

  1. Only Child by Rhiannon Navin
  2. The Midnight Line by Lee Child
  3. Time is a Killer by Michel Bussi
  4. A Dying Note by Ann Parker
  5. The Three Evangelists by Fred Vargas
  6. The Hunger by Alma Katsu

Six  Golden Age Mysteries

  1. The Secret Vanguard by Michael Innes
  2. Bump in the Night by Colin Watson
  3. Portrait of a Murderer by Anne Meredith
  4. The Daffodil Affair by Michael Innes
  5. Bats in the Belfry by E C R Lorac
  6. Fire in the Thatch by E C R Lorac

Six authors I read last year – but not so far this year and their books I hope to read

  1. Colin Dexter – The Riddle of the Third Mile
  2. Peter May – Coffin Road
  3. Beryl Bainbridge – Another Part of the Wood
  4. Gillian McAllister – No Further Questions (to be published in October)
  5. Ann Cleeves – Wild Fire (to be published in September)
  6. Ian Rankin – In a House of Lies (to be published in October)

How is your reading going this year? Do let me know if you take part in Six in Six too.

Watching You by Lisa Jewell


Random House UK Cornerstone|12 July 2018|496 pages|e-book |Review copy|5*