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OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

In 1848, Captain John Franklin & his crew went missing whilst searching for the Northwest Passage - a route between the Atlantic & the Pacific oceans deep within the Canadian Arctic. If you've ever read 'The Terror' by Dan Simmons, the book was based on that journey. In 2008 comedian & sometime actor, Billy Connolly, completed a 10-week voyage to the area for a TV series & this book is the resulting accompaniment. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf I rather enjoyed this. I've never seen the TV documentary series but if it was as entertaining as the book it must have been good viewing. Alongside his trademark humour, Connolly shows a great deal of understanding & respect for the Inuit culture, although I struggled with the parts about hunting seals etc, so I read those pages rather quickly. Otherwise it was an engaging & informative trip through the NP. 4🌟 (edited) 3d
Librarybelle Hooray! Sounds like good read! 3d
Suet624 Sounds interesting. 3d
DieAReader 🥳Great! 2d
24 likes5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
The Husbands | Holly Gramazio
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Mehso-so

One night Lauren returns home to find a strange man in her flat - only he claims to be her husband. Strangely, everything around her backs him up but when he climbs up into the attic & a different man emerges, also claiming to be her husband, Lauren slowly realises that her attic is creating an endless supply of different husbands. As one is exchanged for another over & over, Lauren begins to wonder 'how do you know when you have the right one?'

OutsmartYourShelf One look at the synopsis & I knew I had to request this one. The idea behind the book was an excellent one & the author could have gone anywhere with the storyline. The first 35% was really engaging & gently funny, however, it went on & on for far too long. The character of Bohai was brought in & I thought this heralded something resembling a plot about to begin, but ultimately his story arc didn't really amount to anything either. 3d
OutsmartYourShelf It was the literary equivalent of a fairground carousel - it looks good but ultimately you don't actually go anywhere. 2.5⭐

My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Random House UK/Chatto & Windus, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6200256060
Read 15th-17th Apr 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
3d
DieAReader 👋🏻Next! 2d
22 likes3 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
The Woman in Me | Britney Spears
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Mehso-so

The autobiography from one of the most successful female artists of the twenty-first century. I have to say that I was never a big Britney fan, I liked some of her songs & I also vaguely knew that there was some beef between her & Justin Timberlake at one point, but that was about the extent of it.

Reading this, Britney has obviously gone through some terrible experiences at the hands of those who should have loved & protected her, (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf but the book itself is not good reading. I think she could have gone into the issues of being a child star a lot more, & the effects that has on them growing up. It feels very surface level & it's just terribly written. It's a great shame as Britney's story needed telling. 3⭐

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5966752257
Read 10th-12th Apr 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
6d
DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 6d
28 likes2 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
The Red Room | Brandon Hughes
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Pickpick

I wasn't sure what to expect but the cover & synopsis drew me in. It was a bit wobbly to start with but it turned out to be a really good thriller. Out of all of the characters , Kayla is the one that the reader spends the most time with & she's easy to like & just wants to do the right thing. It becomes a little fantastical in parts but it has good pace & the storyline kept me glued to the pages to find out what happened. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf Yes, it's another thriller based on violence towards young women & it's hard hitting, but I didn't find it salacious or exploitative. The jury is out on whether 'Red Rooms' are real or an urban myth, but real or not, this story is worth checking out. I would definitely read more by the author.

TWs: kidnapping, gun violence, gore, death.

My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, BooksGoSocial, for the opportunity to read an ARC.
6d
DieAReader 🥳Great! 6d
23 likes3 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
THE UNDERHISTORY | Kaaron Warren
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Pickpick

Nine-year-old Pera Sinclair was the only survivor of a tragedy which claimed the lives of her entire family. As she grows up, Pera spends the family fortune rebuilding &, now in her sixties, Pera gives tours through the labyrinthine house which has a room dedicated to each person who died there & which supposedly houses their spirits.

This particular tour starts out as usual but is gatecrashed by a gang of criminals who have escaped from the

OutsmartYourShelf local prison & are here to collect whatever valuables they can. Pera may be getting on in years now but she has no intention of letting them walk away with her family's mementoes.

Told by the MC, Pera, both in the present & the past, with the past sections filling in aspects of Pera's life including meeting her husband & their travelling. The present concentrates on the tour of the different rooms, all of which have strange names, hidden
1w
OutsmartYourShelf compartments, & 'treasures'. Once the escaped prisoners join the tour, it becomes a battle of wits between them & Pera, but I didn't find it realistic as, given their backgrounds, I feel that at least one would have soon grown tired of the prevarication & used violence to get what they wanted. I also found the pacing a little uneven: the first third of the book was riveting but it then slows down & the meandering through the rooms of the house 1w
OutsmartYourShelf starts to become a little samey, & it's not until near the final third that anything really starts to happens. It is one of the more unusual books I've read though & I was reminded a bit of a mash-up of 'Arsenic & Old Lace' & 'The Ladykillers'. 3.5🌟

My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Serpent's Tail/Viper/Profile Books, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6347959531
Read 10th-13th Apr 2024
1w
DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 1w
23 likes5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

Back in town for the funeral of her father, town sheriff Perry Holt, Hazel Sharp returns to Mirror Lake for the first time in 10 years. Just when she thinks it's safe to leave, Hazel's one time BFF (now Caden's wife) disappears. This is not the first disappearance in Mirror Lake, Hazel's own mother disappeared when Hazel was 14 years old, but her mother just skipped town without telling anyone. Didn't she?

OutsmartYourShelf Set in a town where the region is suffering from a long drought which is gradually revealing hidden secrets in the body of water the town is named for, the atmosphere is a powder keg of emotions. For all that though, I thought it was quite a slow read. I also didn't really warm to Hazel unlike the protagonists in some of the author's other books & I found her a bit meh as a main character. 2w
OutsmartYourShelf There were some good twists & turns in the story but the ending was a little abrupt & there were some loose ends not really tied up. I absolutely love the cover though as those colours are really eye-catching. 3.5🌟

My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Quercus Books, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6054705567
Read 7th-10th April 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
2w
DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 2w
32 likes3 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
Last Girl Lied To | L.E. Flynn
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Bailedbailed

Haven't wanted to pick this up in 3 days so DNF @ 26%

32 likes1 comment
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

Oxford 1881, & Rhiannon (Non) Vaughan is one of the first female students allowed to attend lectures at the university, although they are not yet allowed to sit the exams. Non had an unconventional upbringing as the daughter of a ship's Captain, & she chafes under the expectations that women have to avoid showing that they are just as capable of academic study as the men, & that they are just attending in order to 'catch a husband'.

OutsmartYourShelf When an undergraduate called Sidney Parker is found dead in his bed at his lodgings, the university becomes involved with the investigation. Non's offers of help are firmly rebuffed by the Dean but she is not one to give up easily. Via her friendship with lecturer Basil Rice, Non launches her own investigation into Parker's death, but Rice is struggling with losing Teddy, the man he has been in love with for several years, as Teddy is determined 2w
OutsmartYourShelf to now marry & have a family.

The narrative is told from both both Non's & Basil's point of view in alternating chapters. The characters are interesting in that they both have to hide their true selves in order to navigate the halls of Oxford, but whilst Non is a bit of a spitfire, Basil is rather apathetic until near the end. The mystery itself came close to stalling a couple of times but it picked up again.
2w
OutsmartYourShelf Overall, I rather enjoyed reading it & I have the next in the series to read shortly.
3.5🌟

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6309638274
Read 1st - 7th April 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
2w
Andrew65 An excellent review 👏👏👏 2w
DieAReader 🥳Great!! 2w
29 likes5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

Anything to do with military history, from the Roman Empire to World War II & beyond, is a must-read for me, & I also love the paranormal so a mix of the two was too good to pass up. The book is called Haunted War Tales but a large section of it deals more with cryptids such as Sasquatch rather than ghostly goings-on. Still very interesting but not what I was expecting at first glance. (Continued)

OutsmartYourShelf I still found myself going down rabbit holes with this book though. The argument that there are national parks so vast in the USA that some areas are still unexplored or inaccessible & so who knows what is out there is intriguing. (Cue X-Files theme) On the other hand, most sightings here are in the midst of stressful situations or in isolated places which can lead to the mind playing tricks. 2w
OutsmartYourShelf On the subject of the hauntings, I'm slightly less sceptical as I've had experiences myself which are not easily rationalised away.

Overall I found this a fascinating read, & I've added some of the books mentioned in this one to my TBR list for later reading. It's written in an accessible way, easy to follow, & the author presents the evidence for & against without trying to influence the reader one way or another.
2w
OutsmartYourShelf My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Globe Pequot/Lyons Press, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6289858631
Read 4th - 7th Apr 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
2w
DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 2w
Andrew65 Excellent 👏👏👏 2w
34 likes5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

Online romance fraud has skyrocketed. From impersonating members of the armed forces to Hollywood stars, there's seemingly no stone the fraudsters will leave unturned. The author looks at the psychology behind the frauds, the kind of 'scripts' they use to play on their victims' emotions, & why it seems to be a crime that the victims feel reluctant to report. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf I knew I had to read this book as soon as I saw the cover. I follow the author on Twitter (sorry, can't get into calling it X) & I find her text conversations with these scammers funny, so I was looking forward to it. It mostly didn't disappoint.

Behind the humour though, there are very unfunny consequences for those taken in. I found it informative, mainly because I've never really had anything like this sent to me
3w
OutsmartYourShelf (I wonder if it's because my social media is filled with football posts so they think I'm a bloke?!) & I've never really looked into it. It's sad but not surprising that UK anti-fraud law is trailing way behind when it comes to online crime & that actual support for victims is in short supply.

Overall, it may not be everyone's 'cup of tea' but it's definitely different. 4🌟

3w
OutsmartYourShelf My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Unbound, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6289859808
Read 1st-2nd April 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
3w
Amor4Libros Stacked! 3w
DieAReader 🥳Great!! 3w
36 likes2 stack adds5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
Girl Gone Viral | Arvin Ahmadi
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Bailedbailed

This started off quite well but has become rather boring now. DNF @ 40%.

dabbe #hailthebail! 🤩🤩🤩 3w
30 likes1 comment
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

Queen Katherine Parr, sixth & final wife of Henry VIII of England. She has always been a sort of afterthought & her life after Henry's death is eclipsed by her decision to marry Thomas Seymour who was executed as a traitor shortly after her death. Why would a former Queen of England be buried in a small church on a private estate & then almost forgotten? 4.5🌟

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6367106978
Read 28th-31st Mar 2024

OutsmartYourShelf My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Pen & Sword History, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
3w
Librarybelle I got this one too from NetGalley and am looking forward to reading it! 3w
OutsmartYourShelf @Librarybelle I learned so much I wasn‘t previously aware of. Really enjoyed it. Hope you do too. 3w
See All 6 Comments
Librarybelle 😁 3w
DieAReader 🥳Awesome! 3w
Andrew65 This looks a good read. Well done 👏👏👏 (edited) 3w
30 likes2 stack adds6 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

A fascinating trip through history via the cinema. The author looks at the films made about historic events in the past & what they got right & what they got wrong. It's a good book to dip in & out of - reading a few chapters & returning later - but the sheer amount of information can become a little overwhelming if you are trying to read it straight through. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf If you have read anything by the author before you are probably familiar with their slightly sardonic tone, if not then do check out their series of historical mysteries featuring Christopher (Kit) Marlowe. Overall I enjoyed this one & I have a list of films to watch at some point now. 4🌟

My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Pen & Sword History, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
3w
DieAReader 🥳Awesome! 3w
Andrew65 Excellent 👏👏👏 3w
26 likes1 stack add4 comments
blurb
OutsmartYourShelf
Untitled | Unknown
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My April list for #ReadYourKindle @CBee

Only managed one book per month on this so far, but I'm enjoying it & reading some books I wouldn't have gotten around to reading for years otherwise.

CBee Sounds like it‘s working for you 😀 👏🏻 3w
24 likes1 comment
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

Jan 2017, & the author arrives at an abortion clinic with her boyfriend. When the appointment is over, he is nowhere to be seen. Arriving home, all his possessions are gone, & he sends a harsh text abruptly ending their relationship. In the aftermath of this cruel betrayal, the author discovers that she is not the first (or last) that this man has used & discarded - there's a trail of women left bewildered, angry, & down thousands of dollars.

OutsmartYourShelf Such a personal memoir is difficult to give a rating, as how do you review someone's experiences & feelings? It's obviously written from the heart & the author's pain is evident. It can become a little ranty & meandering at times but given her experiences I understand it.

On a wider scale, the author looks at how society is set up to facilitate this kind of behaviour: from friends who are inclined to ignore or condone the behaviour of this type
4w
OutsmartYourShelf of man, to the double standard that women are socialised into keep giving badly behaved men another chance but when they are hurt & deceived, they are told they should have known better.

The author brings up some really interesting points that I've been thinking about since I finished reading this book yesterday. Overall, honest memoir about a difficult experience, but it can meander a little & become a little repetitive. 4🌟
4w
OutsmartYourShelf My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Orion Publishing Group/Weidenfeld & Nicolson, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6347883478
Read: 27th Mar 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
4w
See All 6 Comments
lazydaizee This sounds like a heart breaking story. 4w
DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 4w
Andrew65 Brilliant 👏👏👏 3w
29 likes6 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
Murder Road | Simone St. James
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Pickpick

April & Eddie are newlyweds driving on their way to a resort at Lake Michigan for their honeymoon when they see a hitchhiker on a lonely stretch of road just outside Coldlake Falls. The young woman seems reluctant to accept help but eventually she gets in the car. Once in the car, April & Eddie realise something is very wrong & the young woman has been stabbed. Suddenly headlights appear behind them & the woman says “I'm sorry, he's coming.“

OutsmartYourShelf 'The Sun Down Motel' & 'The Broken Girls' by the author were 5 star reads for me, unfortunately this one is more like 'The Book of Cold Cases' which I found only okay. I think for me, the problem was that the main characters were just not that interesting - side characters such as Rose (the bed & breakfast owner) & the Snell sisters were much more intriguing. 4w
OutsmartYourShelf None of the twists were really a surprise & the haunting aspect (there's always a supernatural aspect with this author's books which usually works really well) felt quite flat to me. It is still a good read but in my view it doesn't live up to the author's best works. A slightly disappointing 3.5🌟

My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Penguin Random House/Michael Joseph, for the opportunity to read an ARC.
4w
DieAReader 🥳Great! 4w
Andrew65 A must read, as are all of her books. 👏👏👏🎉
A shame it doesn‘t sound up to her very best books, and for me, like you, they are `The SunDown Motel‘ and ‘The Broken Girls‘.
(edited) 3w
32 likes5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Mehso-so

Not a memoir or autobiography really, but a book where the now Lord Sugar (fancy) opines on a variety of subjects including football, politics, health & fitness, & private aeroplanes to name a few.

Not sure why this was in my TBR pile, must have picked it up at a charity book sale. The sections on football are quite funny & for the most part, right on the money, but others such as politics are definitely dated now (this was published in 2011).

OutsmartYourShelf A lot of the other stuff basically boils down to 'If I was in charge I'd do this...I'd do that'. There's also no circumstances where it's ok to refer to someone as a hag. Interesting enough for a quick read through but wouldn't read it more than once.
2.5 ⭐

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6357735281
Read 24th-26th Mar 2024

#ReadAway2024 #192025 (2011)
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES @Librarybelle
(edited) 4w
DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 4w
Librarybelle Yay! Another year checked off! 4w
26 likes3 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
Investigating the Mary Celeste | D. Lawrence-Young
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Mehso-so

I think most people have heard of the 'Mary Celeste' - a deserted ship found sailing on in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in 1872. No trace of those known to have been onboard was ever found & what happened has been an enduring mystery for decades, becoming part of history. I was therefore intrigued to read this book, an imaging of the crew's final preparations before setting sail & speculations on what may have happened to them. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf It's quite a long review to post on here so for those interested, it can be viewed at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6289861562 Short version - the mix of fiction/nonfiction didn't quite work.

Rating: 3⭐
Read: 22nd-24th Mar 2024

My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Cranthorpe Milner Publishers, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
4w
DieAReader 🥳👋🏻Great! 👋🏻Next! 4w
27 likes2 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

This started off a little slowly & I wasn't sure if I was going to keep reading or not. Alice is a sympathetic MC (sort of) but it was over the top that she didn't question anything Taylor told her. It definitely improved around the 40% mark, but it was still way too predictable to get a high rating. I was just hoping the reasons behind everything were going to be a little more interesting than they actually were. (Cont'd)

OutsmartYourShelf It was an averagely entertaining read but due to its predictability, I rate it 3.5🌟& it just scrapes through as a 'Pick'.

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4275268295
Read 19th-21st Mar 2024

#ReadAway2024 #ReadYourKindle #192025 (2021)

@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
@CBee @librarybelle
(edited) 1mo
Librarybelle That‘s a shame, but at least another Kindle book read 1mo
36 likes2 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
Cut Short | M. W. Craven
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Pickpick

Three short stories from the 'Washington Poe' series:

1. The Killing Field - two bodies are uncovered in a cattle mass burial pit from the time of the UK foot & mouth crisis of 2001.

2. Why Don't Sheep Shrink? - Bradshaw & Poe solve a cold case whilst self-isolating for Covid. Doesn't sound very funny but this one had a scene which had me laughing to myself out loud. I also worked out how the murder was committed.

(Continued)

OutsmartYourShelf 3. Dead Man's Fingers - wild flowers provide a clue in the case of two missing teenagers from over 20 years ago.

Very short stories but cleverly & humorously written. Bradshaw & Poe are such a fantastic team & Bradshaw's worldly innocence yet vast intellect makes for some great moments between them. 4.5🌟

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6362919031
Read 21st Mar 2024
1mo
30 likes2 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

Roger Ackroyd's fiancée was being blackmailed over the death of her first husband & the pressure became too much & she took her own life. Ackroyd receives a letter containing some information about what happened but is suddenly murdered. There are plenty of suspects & how lucky (but perhaps unfortunate for the guilty party) that Hercule Poirot is residing in the village! (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf The timeline for Poirot's cases seems to vary a bit as the previous full-length book saw Hastings & Poirot working together whilst in this one Hastings has moved away & Poirot is retired. But not completely retired as he takes on the case of the death of Roger Ackroyd upon the urging of Ackroyd's niece, Flora. The story is narrated by Dr Sheppard who lives next to the retired detective & he takes the place of erstwhile Hastings. 1mo
OutsmartYourShelf It seemed to be the usual Christie fare but that twist ending was perfect as the reader realises the clues that are sprinkled throughout the pages. I feel that I really should have worked it out but I didn't. 4.5🌟

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5806765999
Read 18th-20th Mar 2024

1mo
See All 8 Comments
TheSpineView Great job! 1mo
Librarybelle I really liked this one! 1mo
TheAromaofBooks The first time I read this one it genuinely blew my mind. I still love rereading it and looking at all the clues that Christie gives the reader - she does such a good job of not “cheating“ - everything is there for us if we can see it!! 1mo
OutsmartYourShelf @Librarybelle There's no wonder it's thought of by some as her best book. 1mo
38 likes8 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Mehso-so

The story of the downfall of Troy in a nutshell. Although I had a vague idea of things (the war, Helen, Achilles, the Trojan horse etc) I wasn't sure of events & who had fought on which side, so reading an 'accessible to newbies' version such as this one is a good introduction. It's written in Fry's distinctive droll style but I find it impossible to say I enjoyed reading it mainly because all the characters are just so...awful. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf Few, including & maybe especially the gods, have little redeemable about them & I would have hated to have a been a woman living in those times. 3⭐

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4092308156
Read 15th-19th Mar 2024

#ReadAway2024 #192025 (2020)

@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
@librarybelle
1mo
Librarybelle I‘ve not read anything by Fry…maybe one of these days! 1mo
DieAReader 🥳Great! 1mo
32 likes3 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

Jan 1918 & Canadian, Laura Iven, returns home injured from volunteering as a nurse in the war. The only family Laura has left is younger brother, Freddie who is fighting on the front lines but soon after returning home, Laura receives a box containing Freddie's jacket & tags with a note saying that he is missing presumed dead. Laura cannot bear the uncertainty & decides to return to Belgium to find out what happened to her brother. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf This was a read which mixes the realities of life on the front line of war with the supernatural. The narrative switches between Laura & brother Freddie, as she searches for him among the many casualties. I think one of the major plus points of the book is how well the author conveys the callous attitudes of those in charge of the war effort, who have little compunction in sending men to their deaths by either the enemy or disease, 1mo
OutsmartYourShelf whilst they enjoy the comforts of home miles from the fighting. I thought that the supernatural element was underplayed though, & that 'the fiddler' could have been a much darker character. He seemed to promise menace but delivered only slight unease. Overall I thought it was an intriguing read but that it fell a little short in some areas. 4🌟

1mo
OutsmartYourShelf My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Random House UK/Cornerstone/Century, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6064637302
Read 3rd-7th Mar 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
1mo
Kimberlone Just got my library loan for this! Been hearing great things, can‘t wait to start! 1mo
Cheryl_Russell_BookNotes Loved this book! 1mo
34 likes2 stack adds5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

A collection of short horror stories located in the Adirondack Park which is vast (over 6 million acres!) & largely untamed, so is the perfect setting for these tales. My favourites were 2, 4, & 5 as some of the others were a little repetitive at times., but these 3 were the most unnerving of the stories. It's a fairly short book & perfect for when you want to read something a little different. Overall I enjoyed reading it.
3.5🌟

OutsmartYourShelf My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Globe Pequot/North Country Books, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6289860248
Read 14th-15th Mar 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
1mo
DieAReader 🥳Great! 1mo
29 likes2 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
Lie Or Die | A. J. Clack
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Pickpick

Kass is currently fighting with BFF Thea about a misunderstanding over an ex-boyfriend. She desperately wants to make things up with Thea so agrees to try out for a new reality show called Lie or Die, based on a party game called 'Mafia' (or Werewolves'). Ten contestants will compete to win a cash prize by unmasking the two 'agents' amongst them before the 'agents' can 'kill' the rest of players.

OutsmartYourShelf The two girls are eventually accepted onto the set & things seem normal at first, but when the AI host 'Cohin' goes off-script & the eliminated contestants start turning up literally dead, Kass realises that they are trapped inside the contained set with a killer.

This is the second book I've read recently about a murderer stalking a group filming a new reality TV show.
2mo
OutsmartYourShelf This one started off quite slow & I wasn't really getting into it, but around a third of the way in, the story line & pace took off & didn't look back. Kass was a great main character as she was probably the one the reader would naturally feel most empathy for. I also thought the idea of basing around the party game worked really well as it gave the narrative a solid structure. 2mo
OutsmartYourShelf It did look as if things may veer out of control towards the conclusion, but thankfully the ending was intriguing with maybe a possible chance of a sequel. I ended up really enjoying this one & recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA thrillers. 4🌟

TWs: murder, death, mention of suicide.

My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Firefly Press, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

2mo
DieAReader 🥳Great 2mo
30 likes5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

60 unsolved disappearances & murders from the UK, ranging from the 1950s until the present-day. From cases I have never heard of, to the more well-known ones such as the murder of Jill Dando, the chapters are fairly short with less than 10 pages per case which keeps things to the point & concentrates on the known facts.

It seems really weird to say that you enjoyed reading a book about unsolved murders, but it was a really interesting read.

OutsmartYourShelf It was rather shocking that so many cases are still unsolved, some after 70+ years, & also sad to realise that many are unlikely to ever be solved now & if they are the relatives of the victim have already passed away & will never know the truth. I appreciated that the author signposted other books about some of the cases for further reading, & also included contact details/case numbers for the open cases in case anyone should have information. 2mo
OutsmartYourShelf Overall it's a fascinating read & it's a must for any true crime reader. 4.5🌟

My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Pen & Sword True Crime, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6035678822
Read 28th Feb 03 Mar 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
2mo
Crazeedi I definitely want to read this!!! #mountaintbr 2mo
DieAReader 🥳Great 2mo
Andrew65 An excellent review 👏👏👏 2mo
34 likes1 stack add5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

I've read quite a lot on the JFK assassination & this is the first book where all the evidence about the shooting itself & what went on afterwards line up. It's a riveting read as the author takes the reader through the events leading up to Dallas & the aftermath, showing why JFK was killed, how the individual pieces of the plot(s) came together, & how it was covered up afterwards.

OutsmartYourShelf I agree with another review I've seen that it would have been nice to have references/footnotes so that the reader could see where each piece of information has come from, but if you are after an easy to follow, coherent explanation for all the events surrounding the assassination, then this is the book to start with. 5🌟

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6293409288
Read Feb 28th-03 Mar 2024
2mo
DieAReader 🥳Awesome 2mo
Andrew65 Sounds a must read, well done 👏👏👏 2mo
31 likes2 stack adds4 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon is not a well-known name, even here in the UK. Yet, she was a 19th century pioneer who supported feminism, equal opportunities, diversity, inclusion, mental health awareness, & opposed slavery, & the consigning of women to the home. Barbara was also artistic, she wrote, drew, & painted throughout her life & was friends with some of the most well-known names of the time (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf including Marian Evans (George Eliot), Dr Elizabeth Blackwell, & Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

This was a well-written & meticulously researched book, & there's a lot of information packed within these pages but I found it a bit of a struggle to wade through at times. I'm not entirely sure why. I did find it worth reading though as it introduced me to names I had never heard of before (& I spent a bit of time looking them up),
2mo
OutsmartYourShelf her unconventional upbringing was interesting, & it was especially nice to see my childhood home county (Derbyshire) mentioned several times. Overall, it was an informative read but something about it made it a bit of a slog at times. 3.5🌟

My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Random House UK/Transworld Publishers/Doubleday, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6282469971

2mo
DieAReader 🥳Great 2mo
Andrew65 Excellent 🎉🎉🎉 2mo
32 likes5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

After her sister sustains a broken leg at the most inopportune moment, Bonnie agrees to take her place on a mysterious reality TV show: The Fortress - where eight contestants will compete to win the prize money by solving an elaborate escape room. The contestants are taken to a remote sea fort off the coast of the UK where their phones don't work & they have no other way of contacting anyone. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf They seem to have been left completely alone, & after the first challenge, it becomes clear that solving the puzzles literally means life or death for each of them.

This seems to be the first book by the author & they've hit a home run with their first swing. It has killer pace, devious twists, & one heck of an ending. The narrative is mainly from Bonnie's point of view, with an occasional chapter from a mysterious figure 'The Director'.
2mo
OutsmartYourShelf I found myself investing in Bonnie's story & I couldn't wait to find out what/who was behind it all. The author does a great job with ratcheting up the tensions between the members of the group as their loyalties shift with each challenge. Overall I found it a gripping read & recommend it to anyone who likes entertaining thrillers. 4.5🌟(rounded up)

2mo
OutsmartYourShelf My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Random House UK/Transworld Publishers/Bantam, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5968751420
Read 22nd-24th Feb 2024

#ReadAway2024 #FabulousFebruary #20in4
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
2mo
DieAReader 🥳Great 2mo
Andrew65 An excellent review, well done 🎉🎉🎉 2mo
29 likes5 comments
blurb
OutsmartYourShelf
Untitled | Untitled
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My March list for #ReadYourKindle & I've gone for another fiction/nonfiction mix for the list this month. Some interesting looking titles there & only two repetitions from last month.

@CBee

CBee Great looking list! 2mo
24 likes1 comment
review
OutsmartYourShelf
All in the Mind | Jenny Twist
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Mehso-so

Tilly Thompson wakes up in a care home, but this is one with a difference as the patients with Alzheimers there are taking part in an experimental cure. The patients are immersed in the world as it was when they were younger, which for Tilly was the 1940s, so all the décor, the food they eat, even the clothes are all designed to 'fool' the brain into believing it is still the past. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf It seems to be working as Tilly & most of the other patients show strong signs of both mental & physical regeneration. Tilly's husband, James, has suffered a stroke & Tilly wonders if the experimental cure could be tweaked for others.

This was a rather strange read but one that looks at our current concepts of ageing & infirmity. What if we could rewind our biological 'clock' & relive our lives?
2mo
OutsmartYourShelf It's definitely an intriguing concept for a book but it became even more farfetched when winding back the clock also fixed a physical issue from a character's younger days. It also suddenly took a turn from the realm of sci-fi/fantasy into arranged marriages which to me was a strange juxtaposition of storylines. Overall, interesting concept but a little too out there at times. 3⭐

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/749759633
2mo
See All 8 Comments
Librarybelle Another great review! 2mo
DieAReader 🥳Great 2mo
Andrew65 Well done 🎉🎉🎉 2mo
CBee Awesome! 2mo
33 likes8 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Mehso-so

Jane Austen wrote & published most of her works during the Regency Period (1811-1820) & this book gives us a snapshot of the type of food that those who were quite well off would have been eating in this period. With recipes taken from the time, alongside quotations & short sections on different aspects of Georgian dining, this is a pleasant accompaniment to Austen's novels.

OutsmartYourShelf I enjoyed leafing through this one evening although it left me feeling a bit peckish. I quite liked the sound of syllabub (basically whipped cream flavoured with sherry or wine & fruit), & Bath buns, but being vegetarian, I wasn't so enamoured of the 'sweetbreads' or 'ox cheeks' recipes. Yuck! 2mo
OutsmartYourShelf One thing that really stood out to me though was how late into the evening/night they would eat - sometimes 1am. Seems like a recipe for indigestion & acid reflux to me. It's a light, fun read but I'm not sure that I will be attempting any of the recipes. 3⭐

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5486902763
Read 24th Feb 2024

#ReadAway2024 #FabulousFebruary #20in4
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
2mo
DieAReader 🥳🥳 2mo
Andrew65 Well done 🎉🎉🎉 2mo
34 likes4 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

Very occasionally you start reading a book & you know immediately that it's going to be a bit special. Straight away, the reader is immersed in fifteenth century China, I don't claim to know how accurate the storytelling is, but the detail to the worldbuilding is wonderful & the characters come alive in the prose. The only downside was having to see how women & girls were viewed, including the elite ones. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf Overall for me, it was one of those reads that you know you will remember for a long time. 5🌟

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5422622551
Read 19th-22nd Feb 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
2mo
29 likes1 comment
blurb
OutsmartYourShelf
Untitled | Anonymous
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1. Gilbert Blythe (Anne of Green Gables series)
2. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride & Prejudice)
3. Captain Wentworth (Persuasion)

#TLT #ThreeListThursday @dabbe

dabbe I have yet to read #s 1 and 3--now on my TBR radar! Thanks for sharing! 💙🩶💙 2mo
23 likes1 comment
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

Early one September morning in Great Yarmouth, England 1900, the body of a young woman is found on the beach. The bootlace around her neck & bloodstains on her clothing suggest that this is no suicide or accident - she has been murdered. Initially identified as Mrs Hood, from the name given to the landlady where she was staying, the evidence was followed over the subsequent weeks when it was discovered that she was actually Mrs Mary Jane Bennett.

OutsmartYourShelf A tempestuous relationship with her husband, Herbert Bennett, & a married life on the make had left them at odds, but now Herbert was infatuated with someone else meaning his wife was surplus to requirements. When he is identified as having been in Great Yarmouth on the evening in question, it isn't long before he is arrested & due to stand trial. Is he actually guilty though? 2mo
OutsmartYourShelf An intriguing & well researched look at a historical true crime case from the turn of the 20th century. The author has a familial link to the victim & takes us through the story from the very beginning of her great-great-aunt's life. I thought it was written in an easy to read style & it keeps the reader's attention throughout. Even the court scenes were riveting. 4🌟
2mo
OutsmartYourShelf My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Orion Publishing Group/Seven Dials, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6267780261
Read 16th-21st Feb 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
2mo
DieAReader 🤓🥳Great! 2mo
Crazeedi Sounds good 2mo
31 likes1 stack add5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
Vicarious | Paula Stokes
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Pickpick

Winter Kim & her sister, Rose, work as high-tech stunt girls for Rose's ex Gideon, where they engage in dangerous & enticing activities such as bungee jumping or dancing with a hot celeb at a club whilst recording their neural impulses of the experience. Gideon's customers then buy the Vicarious Sensory Experiences (ViSEs) for what feels like the personal experience of swimming with sharks or whatever they choose. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf When Rose is murdered & a ViSE recording of the murder sent to Gideon, Winter is determined to find her sister's killer. No matter what is takes.

This was rather good. The storyline was intriguing & there were some twists out of nowhere which made you think “Of course, why didn't I see that coming.“ On the downside, I don't feel as if the ViSE technology angle was used to its fullest, & I didn't feel immersed in the tech.
2mo
OutsmartYourShelf It was all tell rather than show which was disappointing. There's an element of romance in this between Winter & her ViSE partner, Jesse, but I didn't feel that it overshadowed the rest of the storyline. I will probably pick up the sequel at some point. 3.5🌟

TWs: sex trafficking, paedophilia, violence, death, murder.

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1391809457
Read 13th-18th Feb 2024
2mo
Librarybelle Great review! 2mo
OutsmartYourShelf @Librarybelle Thank you 🙂 2mo
26 likes5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Mehso-so

Jerry Burton & his sister Joanna rent a house for the summer in the village of Lymstock. Jerry needs somewhere quiet to recuperate from his accident & what quieter place than the quintessential English village. The idyll is soon spoiled though when a series of poison-pen letters are sent around the village & almost no-one escapes the vitriol. Cue Miss Marple, doyen of human nature.

OutsmartYourShelf The narrator for this book is Jerry Burton & he's a bit like Hastings from the Poirot books, only slightly less irritating. It's one of the slowest books in the series where not a lot seems to happen for most it, but what was really odd about the book is that Miss Marple doesn't appear until almost the end. Even then she didn't really seem to do much but solves the mystery almost immediately. 2mo
OutsmartYourShelf I really can't mark a Miss Marple book that features Miss Marple so little higher than an average 3⭐

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5439098411
Read 15th-17th Feb 2024

#ReadAway2024 #BacklistReadathon #SeriesLove2024 #192025 (1943)

@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
@clwojick @thearomaofbooks
@TheSpineView @Librarybelle
2mo
willaful Oh, I love this one. Finding a copy of the original British edition -- much longer than the standard American version -- was a real life highlight for me! This was before they were digitized and I think all the newer versions are complete. 2mo
See All 7 Comments
DieAReader 🥳Great 2mo
Librarybelle This is one I have yet to read…some day! 2mo
TheSpineView Fantastic! 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2mo
30 likes7 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
Poisoned | Jennifer Donnelly
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Bailedbailed

Didn't like this at all. Three animal cruelty scenes (not graphic but still) in the first few chapters. Noping out of this one.

dabbe #hailthebail! 🤩🤩🤩 2mo
27 likes1 comment
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

Autobiography from Stan Zimmerman, writer, producer, &/or director on many well-known TV shows such as The Golden Girls, The Gilmore Girls, & Roseanne, plus films such as The Brady Bunch reboot. Zimmerman takes us from his early beginnings as a young Jewish boy who wanted to be famous, through his writing partnership with Jim Berg, to the present day & the touching last chapter where he deals with the loss of his mother. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf This seemed to be a very quick read, & I think that was down to the tone of the book. It felt as if the author was there having a friendly conversation with the reader. I must say that the TV business is brutal: the fact that so much preparation work is put into writing & producing a new show & it can all just be cancelled at a moment's notice. Tough business! It did feel quite surface level though until that last chapter. 2mo
OutsmartYourShelf I really enjoyed reading it though & would recommend it to anyone who likes autobiographies from 'behind the scenes'. 3.5🌟

My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Indigo River Publishing, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5968751150
Read 13th-16th Feb 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
2mo
DieAReader 🥳Awesome 2mo
28 likes3 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
The Burning | Jane Casey
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Pickpick

2024 Reread.

After 6 years, I've decided to reread this series before tackling book 11 - due to be released this year. First time around, I actually liked Rob & was rather irritated with what happens with his character in future books, & I'm intrigued to find out how reading the series with foreknowledge of that & the introduction of Derwent (whom I hated) will compare with reading it with fresh eyes. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf In this latest edition, there is an additional chapter at the end which deals with the moment Derwent first sees Maeve. Is it reconning? Maybe, but it does set things up quite nicely.

I have bumped up the rating for this one to 4🌟 I found Maeve a more sympathetic character this time around, & the storyline, whilst predictable, was good.

Full review (including 2018): https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2261295276
Read 12th-15th Feb 2024
2mo
Librarybelle I should read this series! 2mo
See All 9 Comments
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! I actually love revisiting the beginning of a loved series when you have more information about what's going to happen with the characters - looking for little hints/foreshadowing that you missed the first time around is always intriguing to me. 2mo
OutsmartYourShelf @TheAromaofBooks Yes! Plus I also have copies of the short stories that I missed first time around. 2mo
TheSpineView Fantastic! 2mo
DieAReader 🥳Great 2mo
Andrew65 I love this series, great for a re-read. Well done 👏👏👏 2mo
32 likes9 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
The Vanishing of Carolyn Wells | Rebecca Rego Barry
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Pickpick

A look at the life & prodigious literary output of Carolyn Wells (1862–1942). Born in Rahway, NJ, Wells wrote across a variety of genres including children's books, what would now be considered Young Adult books, & even murder mysteries. She was well known in literary circles, wrote lots of stories, poetry, & limericks for literary magazines & even had some short stories adapted for silent film. So how come so few people have heard of her today?

OutsmartYourShelf I am one of those who had never heard of Carolyn Wells before, so this lovely biography & discussion of her work was really interesting for the most part. I thought that the author writes well & obviously has a great interest in the subject, & the reader gets to see how they piece together the small clues from here, there, & everywhere to put together Carolyn's story. 2mo
OutsmartYourShelf There were a few places where I speed-read my way through the lists of dates when the works were written but mostly it was an engaging read. In fact it inspired me to buy an ebook bundle of 17 of her mystery stories. 3.5🌟

My thanks to #NetGalley & publisher, Post Hill Press, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6000892314
Read 11th-13th Feb 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
2mo
DieAReader 🥳Great 2mo
Andrew65 Fantastic 👏👏👏 2mo
33 likes4 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
The Shelter | James Everington
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Mehso-so

On a hot summer's day in the late 1980s, four boys are bored & decide to explore the rumour about an abandoned air raid shelter near a neighbouring village. There's some odd tensions in the group as two of the boys (Mark & Tom) are slightly older than Alan & friend Duncan & the two older boys tend to bully the younger two.

When they reach the field, they find the shelter exists & decide to explore it except for Duncan who won't climb down.

OutsmartYourShelf Alan keeps feeling a strange surge of rage against his friends & when the older two lock him in, he has a supernatural experience including seeing what happened to a boy who went missing several years before.

It's a very short read, only about 60 pages, so there's not a lot of room to develop the characters very much, but I think the author conveyed the sense of foreboding around the shelter & the dynamics within the group well.
2mo
OutsmartYourShelf I would have liked it to have been slightly longer as it finished on a rather ambiguous note as to what the deal with the shelter actually was. Overall, it was quite an unsettling read. 3⭐

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/792595849
Read 11th Feb 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
2mo
DieAReader 🥳Great 2mo
Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 2mo
30 likes4 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
Zero Days | Ruth Ware
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Pickpick

Jacinta (Jack) Cross & her husband, Gabe Medway are 'penetration specialists' (ahem) who are people hired by companies to test their physical & online security systems. On this particular assignment, things go wrong & Jack ends up being arrested for breaking & entering. Her skeevy ex (who is a police officer) vouches for her & Jack is finally released, only to head home & find her husband has been murdered. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf As things unfold, it becomes obvious that someone is framing Jack for Gabe's murder, & the detectives on the case immediately hone in on Jack as their only suspect. Jack has to go on the run to find Gabe's killers & clear her name.

OK this one is largely entertaining in that it has a fast pace & keeps the readers' attention - think a more tech-based 'The Fugitive'.
2mo
OutsmartYourShelf It has one or two issues though: firstly the low level bad guy is wayyy too easy to spot, & secondly, you really have to suspend your disbelief at times. It's not my favourite of the author's books & I probably wouldn't re-read it. 3.5🌟

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5560181458
Read 9th-11th Feb 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
2mo
Andrew65 Well done and thanks for the comprehensive review 2mo
DieAReader 🥳Geat 2mo
32 likes4 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

A collection of 11 short stories featuring Poirot & (unfortunately) Hastings, who still hasn't come to terms with being the comedic relief. Mixed bag here but none of them are really bad & a couple are rather ingenious in their solutions. Please see my full review link for further details on the stories. 3.5🌟

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6018108866
Read 5th-9th Feb 2024

34 likes5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
Then There Was One | Wendy Cross
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Pickpick

Three teenagers are thrilled to receive an invitation to compete in 'The Pinnacle', a reality TV contest set on a remote planet where ten teenagers compete to win a cash prize. Bex, Raya, & Zane all have their own reasons to want to win, but when the ten contestants meet on a deserted island, it's not long before they realise that this is no ordinary contest, but a competition to survive & there can only be one winner. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf The 'locked room' or 'isolated setting' genre is one of my favourites so one that was set in space was even better. Unfortunately the contest side of things was quickly jettisoned & it was your usual murder thriller where the group are isolated from everyone else & they start being killed off one by one. Judging by the title, this is perhaps an updated YA version of Agatha Christie's 'And Then There Were None'. 2mo
OutsmartYourShelf The reader has 3 POVs for the narrative but they were not really distinct enough & I had to look back at the chapter headings several times to see which one I was currently reading about. Overall, I felt that the concept wasn't really developed enough & the ending is rather abrupt, although it left me hoping that there is a sequel as I really need to know that someone goes & looks after Zircon the dog as Raya had to leave him behind. 3.5 🌟 2mo
OutsmartYourShelf My thanks to #NetGalley & publishers, Penguin Random House UK Childrens', for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5949422625
Read 4th-8th Feb 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
2mo
DieAReader 🥳Great 2mo
33 likes4 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

TWs: gun violence, death of a child, mention of sexual assault, coarse language, sexual content.

Officer Lorraine (Rainie) Conner lives in Bakersville, a small town in Oregon, where nothing much happens, until one morning when she is called into a shooting at the local school. A young teacher & 2 pupils are dead with several others injured, but the biggest shock of all is that the guns are being held by Danny, son of the sheriff (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf (Rainie's boss & friend.) Danny is 13 years old but the prosecutor wants to push for him to be tried in adult court. Meanwhile, FBI profile Pierce Quincy flies in to examine the case as this isn't the first school shooting which has some strange elements. The more evidence Quincy looks at, the more convinced he is that Danny isn't solely responsible.

2mo
OutsmartYourShelf I wasn't impressed with the first book in the series (The Perfect Husband) but wow, did Gardner pull it out of the bag with this one. It started off quite slow & I wasn't sure I was going to finish reading it, but the plot suddenly took off & never stopped. The book deals with the sensitive subject of what can turn a teenager into a killer. I think that the turmoil of all those concerned is well-handled. 2mo
OutsmartYourShelf As for the ending, I'm usually quite good at predicting twists but I did not see that one coming. 4.5🌟

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3824332644
Read 3rd-7th Feb 2024

#ReadAway2024 #BacklistReadathon #SeriesLove2024 #192025 (2001)

@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
@clwojick @thearomaofbooks @TheSpineView @Librarybelle
2mo
See All 8 Comments
Librarybelle I‘ve not read any by Gardner, but she‘s on my to read list! 2mo
TheSpineView Great job! 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2mo
darklydreaming I have always enjoyed Lisa Gardner books. Added! 2mo
DieAReader 🥳Great 2mo
27 likes1 stack add8 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
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Pickpick

November 2007 saw the occurrence of one of the most talked about murders of that decade. The body of British overseas student, Meredith Kercher, was found in her bedroom in the flat she shared with three other girls in Perugia, Italy. Over the next ten years or so, there would be several court cases about those thought to be involved, (Rudy Guede, Amanda Knox, & Raffaele Sollecito.)

OutsmartYourShelf Whilst Guede eventually served 13 years for Meredith's murder, Knox & Sollecito were convicted, acquitted, & reconvicted, before being finally acquitted a second time.

This book looks at the evidence & what was said & gives a balanced view both for & against the main three suspects & also notes where the investigation seems to have fallen short.

2mo
OutsmartYourShelf If you are looking for a definite answer then this is not the book for you as no definitive conclusions are made. It's a case that I remember from the media but I never really looked into it, but after reading this, I think I may look up some more of the books on the case. 4🌟

My thanks to #NetGalley & publisher, Pen & Sword, for the opportunity to read an ARC.
2mo
DieAReader 🥳Great 2mo
29 likes4 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
Past Crimes | Jason Pinter
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Pickpick

It's 2037 & Earth has been split into two: Earth+ the physical world which is neglected & decaying, & Earth- the digital online world which has taken over. Everything is virtual: education, employment, even justice. True crime is big business & Cassie West works for V.I.C.E, a company which takes crime cases & turns them into 3D interactive simulations, & it's Cassie's job to get the families of the missing & murdered to sign up. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf It's not an easy job but she needs the money as Cassie & husband, Harris, are finally expecting their first child. As she heads home, she tries to call Harris but he isn't responding & Cassie's foreboding is sharpened when lots of emergency drones start heading in the direction she is travelling. As she nears home she sees her house is on fire & Harris is still inside!

Ten years later, Cassie is 'persona non grata' due to her husband's death.
2mo
OutsmartYourShelf Not only did Harris die but he took dozens of people with him as he was the leader of a 'church' of Burners who, on the same day that Harris died, all set fire to their homes & killed themselves & sometimes their families. No-one will believe that Cassie didn't know, but when the father of a young girl called Aly shoots his wife & himself after saying he is a Burner & a second wave is coming, Cassie realises that not only could she save lives but 2mo
OutsmartYourShelf that this could be evidence that Harris was not the leader after all.

First of all, I really liked the premise of this book. It takes a swipe at the popularity of true crime & moves it to the next level. In the technology you can play as a spectator & watch history unfold or it allows you to be a participant & change history within the simulation. There's also a theme park nicknamed 'Disneyland of Death'.
2mo
See All 8 Comments
OutsmartYourShelf The world-building & plot were well thought out & although there are several occasions of (necessary) 'info dumping', I didn't find that it detracted from the main story-line. The pace was fast throughout & although it did kind of come close to jumping the shark at the end, it was a fitting end in many ways. As a main character Cassie goes on a bit of journey, she starts off as quite insular & wary which is understandable after ten years of being 2mo
OutsmartYourShelf reviled & viewed with suspicion & it takes a while before she can warm to & trust others. Overall it was a really entertaining & gripping read. 4🌟

TWs: pregnancy, miscarriage, death of spouse.

My thanks to #NetGalley & publisher, Severn House, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

Full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/6224795248
Read 1st-4th Feb 2024

#ReadAway2024
@Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES
2mo
Andrew65 Excellent 👏👏👏 2mo
Ruthiella Sometimes I don‘t mind info dumping if the information is interesting! 2mo
DieAReader 🥳Great 2mo
28 likes8 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
The Third Mrs. Durst | Ann Aguirre
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Mehso-so

At 16 Marlena Altizer leaves her poverty-stricken home & family & heads to the city. Spotted by a talent scout, Marlena becomes a model alongside friend, Jenny, but Marlena is more successful. Several years later, she meets Michael Durst & they eventually marry. Michael is rich, successful, & handsome, but also jealous & controlling. From the outside her life seems perfect but on the inside it is anything but. (continued)

OutsmartYourShelf Displeasing him leads to consequences not just for Marlena but he threatens her friends too & she knows he means it. You see Michael has been married before, twice in fact, & both his former wives are dead. Accidents or murder?

This is a book about a toxic marriage & abusive husband - Marlena wants out but is that all she wants? There are none-too-subtle hints from the start that there is more to the plot so the 'twist' is not really much of a
3mo
OutsmartYourShelf surprise. It was also quite slow in pace until the last third when the plot suddenly exploded into life. The problem for me is that I found it difficult to like Marlena - I felt sorry for her initially - but didn't like her. Mainly because she was also manipulative with another character & put them in danger. Definitely have no wish to re-read at any point. 2⭐

TWs: sexual content, domestic abuse, violence, blood, sexual assault.
3mo
DieAReader 👋🏻👋🏻👋🏻 3mo
Librarybelle Great review! 3mo
32 likes5 comments
review
OutsmartYourShelf
The Traitors | Carissa Ann Lynch
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Pickpick

Six unlikeable characters with dark secrets are lured to an old mansion named Beechwood Castle by a mysterious invite. Beechwood was the site of a trio of axe murders 27 years ago when 3 out of 4 friends were killed by a murderer who was never caught. All of them have their own reasons for being there, but one of them is an imposter, & when they start being picked off one by one, they begin to wonder if the murderer is one of the other guests?

OutsmartYourShelf I rather enjoyed this one. None of the six main characters are particularly likeable, trustworthy, or trusting which makes for a pressure-cooker atmosphere. I must admit I didn't guess the culprit & I like a book that can keep me guessing, but I did think the ending was a little disappointing compared to the rest of the book. Overall though, it's just the ticket if you're looking for a quick, fun read that's not too demanding. 4🌟

3mo
Gissy Sounds fascinated...stacked 🤗 3mo
25 likes3 stack adds3 comments