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#WinterCosy
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OutsmartYourShelf
Untitled | Anonymous
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Due to the ARCs I had to read this month, didn't quite complete the full board for #WinterCosy

Thanks to @puddlejumper for hosting.

PuddleJumper Wow! That's amazing, well done! 1mo
26 likes1 comment
review
OutsmartYourShelf
The Invocations | Krystal Sutherland
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Pickpick

In a world where only women can make deals with demons & wield magic, three young women are drawn into the hunt for a supernatural serial killer.

I really enjoyed this one & I was hooked from the start. It's a perfect mix of horror & fantasy with an undercurrent of social commentary. The first chapter sets the scene as an unnamed character walks home from a party alone - I would say that most women who have walked home alone in the dark (cont)

OutsmartYourShelf in a deserted area would recognise the feeling of being on high alert of your surroundings & the fear that lurks. It's no accident that only women can wield magic (i.e. power) in this book & the (mainly male) witch-hunters want to take it away. It is inclusive of trans women by the way. My only (minor) observation is that I wasn't sold on the Jude/Emer romance but that's only because I felt there was little chemistry between them & out of the 3 1mo
OutsmartYourShelf main characters, I liked Emer the least. Overall though, it was a gripping read & that cover is perfection. 5🌟

TWs: (graphic) body horror, injury detail, blood, murder, death. magic, demons. (mentions) domestic abuse, animal death, misogyny.

My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Bonnier Books UK/Hot Key Books, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

#ReadAway2024 #WinterCosy

@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
@puddlejumper
1mo
PuddleJumper 🎉🎉 1mo
DieAReader 🥳Great! 1mo
28 likes5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

Hampshire, 1795 where the Austen family reside at the local rectory, sister Cassandra is engaged to be married, & where Jane is in the midst of a romance with Tom Lefroy. At tonight's dance, Jane is sure that Tom is about to pop the question when their tryst is interrupted by the discovery of a dead body. A young milliner (hatmaker) has been killed, her body hidden in a linen closet. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf There are plenty of suspects including local bigwig Sir John, but when one of her brothers is accused of having something to do with the crime, Jane finds herself investigating a murder.

I rather enjoyed reading this one. The author weaves together fiction & real people & events from Jane's life into an engaging historical mystery. I thought that the character of Jane was a little too immature here & her noted intelligence didn't really have
1mo
OutsmartYourShelf chance to shine - solving the case seemed to be a matter of accusing almost everyone involved one by one rather than actually deducing anything. I enjoyed it enough though that I would be interested in reading another. 3.5🌟

My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Penguin Random House/Michael Joseph, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5796812317
Read 16th-19th Jan 2024
1mo
DieAReader 🥳Great! 1mo
PuddleJumper 🌞 🌞 1mo
28 likes5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

William Day was part of an expedition which ended in disaster. Many of the men died of scurvy & the survivors only managed to hang on by becoming cannibals & eating their dead shipmates. As the last surviving officer, Day took most of the blame & opprobrium being nicknamed 'Eat 'em Fresh' Day. 13 years later, Day is offered a chance at redemption, to find his second-in-command from that ill-fated voyage, who has gone missing. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf This was a difficult book to rate. There are a lot of positives: I thought the author conveyed the claustrophobic feeling of being stuck onboard a ship for months, & the despair of those who know they are unlikely to live to return home. I felt as if I was there. Pace-wise it was a little uneven as some parts of the book seemed to fly by whilst others crawled at a snail's pace. 1mo
OutsmartYourShelf My main issue was impatience with the main character though as it seemed to take him forever to snap out of the spell that he was under with regards to Stevens & see the true character of the man. If you enjoyed Dan Simmons' 'The Terror' you'd probably like this book. I've read both & I'm actually rating this one slightly higher. 3.5🌟

TWs: violence, homophobia, Injury detail, cannibalism, animal death.
1mo
OutsmartYourShelf My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Titan Books, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5777194333
Read 11th-15th Jan 2024

#ReadAway2024 #WinterCosy

@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
@puddlejumper
1mo
DieAReader 🥳Great! 1mo
29 likes4 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Panpan

Hungary in 1929 saw the exposure of over a hundred deaths which were linked to a small group of people in a village called Nagyrev. For over a decade, Auntie Suzie, the local midwife, had helped local women get rid of inconvenient relatives by means of poison. They came to be known as The Angel Makers.

Given the source material this should have been an interesting read, but it turned out to be a chore to get through.

OutsmartYourShelf I struggled with the author's writing style I think, especially the way they seemed to be obsessed with conveying that Suzie was fat. Countless uses of “waddled“, “plopped“, “heavily“ etc - it was just relentless & not needed. I think she was compared to a cow at one point! Suzie committed some terrible acts, which should be the focus, so being told just once that she was overweight would have been enough & I think it detracted from the book. 2⭐ (edited) 1mo
Librarybelle That‘s a shame! 1mo
jlhammar I didn‘t really get on with her writing style either. Still a pick for me, but I didn‘t like it nearly as much as I expected to and it took me ages to get through (kept setting it aside). The story is fascinating, but it was missing that narrative drive for me. 1mo
DieAReader 👋🏻👋🏻👋🏻Bye! Bye! 1mo
32 likes5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

The first book to feature Hercule Poirot is told from the point of view of Arthur Hastings, a soldier on leave from the Front in WWI. Hastings visits an old friend, John Cavendish who lives at Styles Court owned by his stepmother, Emily Inglethorp. John's wife, his younger brother, Lawrence, & a family friend, Cynthia Murdoch also live there, along with Emily's new husband, younger man, Alfred Inglethorp. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf When Emily suddenly dies & the local doctor is certain that it is murder, Hastings is relieved to run into Hercule Poirot, a former detective in the Belgian police force who is now a refugee living near Styles Court & whose benefactor was the same Emily Inglethorp. Poirot agrees to investigate Emily's murder & uncovers a family full of secrets, resentment, & greed. 2mo
OutsmartYourShelf I've seen the TV adaptations of the books starring David Suchet but I really couldn't remember this one. It's incredibly well thought out & kept me guessing - I only hope the rest of the books follow suit. 4🌟

TWs: antisemitism, racism.

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4915426668
Read 3rd-4th Jan 2024

#ReadAway2024 #BacklistReadathon #SeriesLove2024 #192025 (1920)
#WinterCosy #WinterClearDown
(edited) 2mo
See All 8 Comments
DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 2mo
Librarybelle Good choice for the #192025 challenge! 2mo
TheSpineView Great job!🌞 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 2mo
Andrew65 The start of a great series, although dated now with some views expressed or words used. 2mo
35 likes8 comments
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kwmg40
Bingo! | Rosemary Wells
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Here's how I did with #wintercosy, #wintercleardown, #longdarknights and #brightcolddays bingo cards in the month of December! #wintergames #snowangels

I still have January to work on finishing #wintercleardown but I thought I'd post my progress.

Thanks to @Emilymdxn and @Puddlejumper for hosting these challenges!

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OutsmartYourShelf
Wintergames | Litsy Litsy
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PuddleJumper 💙❄️💙 2mo
11 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
2mo
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
2mo
See All 7 Comments
Catsandbooks ❄️🍭❤️ 2mo
Andrew65 Excellent 👏👏👏 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2mo
PuddleJumper ❄️❄️ 2mo
22 likes1 stack add7 comments
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JessClark78
Untitled | Unknown
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Day 31 Totals #WinterGames2023

Read for four hours. Finished In A Holidaze.

#RushAThon #WinterCosy #CandylandReadathon
#ScaryChristmas #20in4 +40 each

Watched:
📺 NOS4A2 (1 episode/Based on a Book) +10
🎥 The Ref +5

+216 points #TeamReindeerGamers