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#BingoParty
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OutsmartYourShelf
Wintergames | Litsy Litsy
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Completed lines on several cards for #BingoParty. Thanks to @thearomaofbooks for hosting.

#WinterGames #HollyJollyReaders @Laughterhp

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! I'm going to have to change a couple of these prompts for next year. A few were unexpectedly impossible 😂 5mo
9 likes1 comment
review
OutsmartYourShelf
Dead of Winter | Darcy Coates
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Pickpick

Christa & bf, Kiernan, join a small tour group heading to an isolated lodge in the Rocky Mountains for 2 weeks. They are almost there when things start to go wrong: first a fallen tree blocks the road, Christa has an accidental fall & is separated from Kiernan when he & Christa take a short walk whilst waiting for the coach to be freed, & Christa only just finds her way back before succumbing to the snowstorm. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf The rest of the group have had to take refuge in a small hunting cabin due to the bad weather, things could be worse, until the group starts to be picked off one by one. Is there a killer out there or is the threat closer to home?

This was a good read to finish off 2023. It started off a little slow & I felt the pace was a bit off, but it soon picked up. I thought it was well-written if a little predictable
5mo
OutsmartYourShelf (I guessed what was happening almost straight away) but I still enjoyed it. Most the characters weren't very likeable but that's how you make a 'locked room' mystery work - plenty of suspects.

Verdict: well-written & hugely entertaining but rather predictable. 4🌟

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5330090696
Read 30th-31st Dec 2023

#WinterGames #HollyJollyReaders @Laughterhp
5mo
See All 7 Comments
Catsandbooks ❄️🍭❤️ 5mo
Andrew65 Excellent 👏👏👏 5mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 5mo
PuddleJumper ❄️❄️ 5mo
22 likes1 stack add7 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

One year ago Carrie's husband, Sean Miller, went missing on Mount Everest. He had been part of a small group aiming to reach the summit, but was never seen again after the final push for the top. Carrie is determined she is going to find her husband's body & bring him home for burial, & their friend Tom, Sean's best friend & former climbing partner, volunteers to accompany her. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf Their Sherpa guide gives Carrie a journal left behind by Sean, & she reads this whilst they start their journey. It seems that Sean was haunted by something up there on Everest & spent the last few days feeling watched by something unseen.

The narrative is mostly told from Carrie's point of view in the present, whilst we get Sean's view from the expedition where he went missing.
6mo
OutsmartYourShelf I'm not gonna lie, I was hoping it was going to be a lot scarier than it turned out to be. The book does discuss the strange things that can happen on the mountain whether it's due to oxygen deprivation or something more supernatural (i.e. Third Man syndrome) but I felt a lot more could have been done with this. The majority of the book seemed to be Carrie being a pain in the ass. 3.5🌟- could have been better. 6mo
See All 10 Comments
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 6mo
Emilymdxn I LOVE creepy mountaineering novels! Have you read 5mo
OutsmartYourShelf @Emilymdxn Its an automatic yes from me if it‘s about mountaineering or polar exploration. I‘m fascinated by those two subjects. Echo is on my TBR list but I haven‘t read it yet. 5mo
DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 5mo
Andrew65 Excellent 👏👏👏 5mo
Catsandbooks ❄️🍭❤️ 5mo
21 likes10 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
Good Girls Don't Die | Christina Henry
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Mehso-so

Celia wakes up in a house with a husband & a daughter she doesn't recognise. When a nasty neighbour, who lives next door to the restaurant Celia supposedly owns, is murdered it looks like Celia is being primed to take the blame. Can she work out who she really is & who the killer is?

Allie has arranged to go to the beach for her birthday with friends Madison & Cam, however when the two friends' boyfriends tag along, Allie is annoyed. (Continued)

OutsmartYourShelf She falls asleep on the way there & when she wakes up they are not at the beach - Brad (Cam's bf) has driven them to an isolated cabin in the woods. Horror movie fan Allie is already uneasy & when a stranger starts trying to break into the cabin that night, it looks like big screen horror has become real.

6mo
OutsmartYourShelf Maggie wakes up in a shipping container with a group of women. None of them know each other or where they are, but they are all wearing t-shirts with a number on the back. They are finally released into The Maze, a deadly obstacle course, where they are told that if they want to see their loved ones alive again, they have to complete the course within 12 hours.

6mo
OutsmartYourShelf The synopsis sold me on this one & it was one of my few pre-orders for 2023. Maybe I was expecting too much, but it was a bit of a let-down. I didn't really care for the Celia storyline which was rather boring, the Allie & Maggie storylines were much better in my opinion, but it was the final reveal which was the worst - it was all a bit pedestrian. It was good but not great & left me feeling a bit unsatisfied really.
3⭐

6mo
See All 8 Comments
TheAromaofBooks At least it's off the list!! 6mo
DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 5mo
Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 5mo
Catsandbooks ❄️🍭❤️ 5mo
18 likes8 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
The Resort | Sarah Goodwin
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Pickpick

Perpetual screw-up Mila & her husband Ethan are enroute to her sister's destination wedding. After picking up the hire car, Mila falls to sleep whilst Ethan drives & when she wakes up, they are lost. As they pull over to get their bearings, the car engine dies & they can't restart it. The weather is turning cold & snowy & no cars have come past whilst they have been there, so they decide to head down to a village signposted on a nearby post.

OutsmartYourShelf When they reach the village, it is obviously deserted but as it's too late for anything else, they decide to break into & sleep in one of the empty cabins. It's not easy but they finally fall to sleep, but when Mila wakes up hours later, Ethan has disappeared. The snow outside shows no sign of Ethan having gone outside so where is he? And why does Mila feel as if she is being watched by someone or something in the deserted village? 6mo
OutsmartYourShelf The narrative is from Mila's point of view & we get the present-day & an occasional flashback to Mila & her sister's childhood. Mila is a difficult main character to like at first as she seems to have been the 'golden child' whilst her sister was the scapegoat & she really played into that, but Mila really wants to make it up to her sister & give her the wedding of her dreams.
6mo
OutsmartYourShelf It did irritate me that the blurb & the cover make you think it's a deserted ski resort, but it's not really, it's just a deserted village of 6 small wooden cabins. It was also pretty easy to work out what was going on, I had worked it out really quickly as the clues are all there, & just kept waiting for the realisation to dawn on the MC. The final few chapters certainly made up for the rest of the book in intensity & nerve-racking tension. 3.5🌟 6mo
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5feet.of.fury Yeah you would think a book called “The Resort” spends the majority of the time at …the resort… lol 6mo
DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 6mo
Andrew65 Excellent 🎄🎄🎄 6mo
OutsmartYourShelf @5feet.of.fury Exactly 😀 6mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 6mo
BookmarkTavern Sounds thrilling! 6mo
PuddleJumper 💙❄️💙 6mo
Catsandbooks ❄️🍭❤️ 6mo
28 likes13 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
Derbyshire Murders | Martin Baggoley
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Pickpick

Fifteen murder cases from the nineteenth-century which took place in Derbyshire. I know most of these places quite well having been born in the county, but hadn't heard about any of these cases. It's an interesting read, lots of information even though each chapter is quite short, & they're written in a way that keeps the attention. Overall, a great read with some lovely photos of the area from the author. 5🌟

22 likes5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
Fir | Sharon Gosling
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Pickpick

The Stromberg family suddenly pick up & move from their comfortable life to an isolated house, surrounded by pine forests, in northern Sweden. Although their mother & father seem happy enough, the youngest Stromberg is angry at being torn away from their old life. At first the surprisingly large house is part-occupied by a group of children on conservation work, but when they leave, the Strombergs are left alone with just the weird housekeeper.

OutsmartYourShelf This is quite an atmospheric read. The author conveys the sense of isolation & feeling surrounded by malevolence quite well. The reader never learns the narrator's first name or anything else about them really, & maybe it's personal bias, but I felt as if it was a teenage girl. Not that it really matters. I enjoyed it & an extra star for choosing that ending. The author could have wrapped it all up nicely but the actual ending is rather bleak.
(edited) 6mo
OutsmartYourShelf A book that I will probably re-read at some point. 4🌟

TWs: animal death, gore, blood, mention of miscarriage.

Sorry to my team #HollyJollyReaders for going missing for the last week or so, but I tested positive for Covid on Christmas Eve & had been feeling a bit off before. Still not back to normal but I do have some reviews to catch up on.

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3161110984
Read 17th-21st Dec 2023

#WinterGames
(edited) 6mo
See All 9 Comments
TheAromaofBooks Great progress!! 6mo
BookmarkTavern Love this cover! 🖤 6mo
Texreader Also works for #foodandlit 6mo
Andrew65 Excellent 🎄🎄🎄 6mo
DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 6mo
Catsandbooks 🍭❄️❤️ 6mo
27 likes9 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

BFFs Sam & Ally reunite with new friend, Sandy, (whom they met in Book 2 Camp Whispering Pines), when she invites the two friends to spend the weekend before Christmas at her family's house on Orcas Island. It doesn't take long before Sam manages to sniff out the rumour of a ghost at a nearby mansion, but this time, it seems the living may be the real danger. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf The sixth book in the series serves up another fun helping of Sam & Ally's antics. As Ally says, the mysteries just seem to find Sam, she doesn't need to go looking. This series of modern-day 'Nancy Drew' adventures continues to deliver & readers 8-12 years of age will love it. 4🌟

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/193069793
Read 19th-20th Dec 2023

Holiday Read - 25
Readathons - 150
Words - 1070
Post - 1

Total - 1246 pts
6mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 6mo
See All 7 Comments
Ruthiella Sounds like a fun one! 🎄💀🔪🎅🏻 6mo
DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 6mo
Catsandbooks 🍭❄️❤️ 6mo
BookmarkTavern Wow! 🎉🎉 6mo
25 likes7 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Mehso-so

Exactly what it says: 12 short stories themed around Christmas with 12 holiday recipes. Standouts for me were:

3). Dark Christmas - ghost story set in a house which has been rented by a small group of friends for Christmas but only one of them turns up.

9). A Ghost Story - haunting based around Mallory & Irvine's ill-fated attempt to climb Everest.

& (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf 10). The Silver Frog - amphibians come to the rescue of orphans being ill-treated by the owner of the orphanage.

Overall it was good but short stories always leave me wishing they had been a bit longer. 3⭐

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6028152602
Read 16th-19th Dec 2023

Holiday Read - 25
Readathons - 325
Words - 6820
Post - 1

Total - 7171 pts

#WinterGames #HollyJollyReaders @Laughterhp
6mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 6mo
22 likes3 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
A Tudor Christmas | Alison Weir, Siobhan Clarke
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Pickpick

An interesting little book about the traditions of a Tudor Christmas. It's surprising how many traditions & foodstuffs have managed to survive to modern day, even if they are in a slightly different form today. Mince pies once did indeed contain minced meat but this was gradually phased out until they became the sweet pie of today, whilst the traditional Christmas pudding also went from a savoury dish to a sweet pudding with the removal of meat.

OutsmartYourShelf That's one thing you can say for the Tudors, they were definitely carnivores!

It did meander a little into the Puritans & ye-olde-killjoy Oliver Cromwell who is outside the scope of Tudor history but 'tis a minor quibble. With plenty of little anecdotes alongside illustrations & quotations from period-contemporary poems, ballads, & carols, this is a treat for any history buffs. 4🌟

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6018105006
6mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 6mo
Catsandbooks 🍭❄️❤️ 6mo
BookmarkTavern That sounds so interesting! 6mo
34 likes1 stack add5 comments