Got through quite a lot of reading while in Madeira - nothing too earth shattering because, as you all know by now, I like to relax my little grey cells while away.
I have done my usual. thriller re-reads of some of those I have on my Kindle and The Narrows by Michael Connelly, one of his Harry Bosch books, a follow up to the Poet was one and it was as exciting the first time as the second. If you are reading the Connelly books you must read The Poet first before reading this one. The Fifth Witness, another Connelly book but this time featuring attorney Mickey Haller, who I think I prefer to the Harry books. Note with joy that a new Haller book due out this autumn.
Then some titles from the hotel library which I always check out as you never know what you are going to find. Came across two really ancient Pan editions of the sixties of two books I read yonks ago, The Tamarind Seed by Evelyn Anthony, which is about a double agent in the British Secret Service and as exciting and as tense as when I first read it. So had a relaxing afternoon enjoying that all over again. I remember thinking on my discovery of this that it would make a wonderful film. One was duly made - with Julie Andrews and Omar Shariff. I will say no more..................
Second Pan was The Astrov Inheritance by Constance Heaven. I used to love reading her books in my teens and this was one of my favourites, set in the pre-revolutionary court of St Petersburg, full of glamorous women and handsome men striding about in uniforms and thigh high boots and it was terrific fun. Note that a couple of her titles are available on Kindle so will check those out as well and take a trip down memory lane.
I then pitched into a heap of chick litty books.
One I had brought with me, The Summer House by Santa Montafiore. Had read one of hers on hols before and enjoyed but this one was a bit naff and bumpy narrative so though I finished it cannot really recommend it. I donated it to the hotel library.
Then Before I Met you by Lisa Jewell of who I know nothing and this was sent to me for review. Dual story line set in 1920s and 1990s and though it started off promisingly I found it got rather boring after a while. Shame as the story, that of Betty,newly arrived in London and tracking down the heartbreaking secret which changed her glamorous grandmother's life was right up my alley, but ended up skimming it. Shame. Also donated to the hotel library.
Then another two from same place, A Rural Affair by Catherine Alliott. Poppy Shilling is left a widow by the death of her lycra clad, bike besotted husband and feels rather guilty as she feels a sense of relief that he has gone as he was not exactly the man of her dreams. She soon stops feeling guilty when his mistress turns up on her doorstep claiming that Phil has left her money in his will as he promised. Turns out Phil has left rather a lot of dosh to his wife and children and when the single men in the village hear about this Poppy finds herself rather popular as the Young Rich Merry Widow. Written with wit and panache this was fun and engaging and I loved it.
Lucy Diamond's The Beach Cafe next in which Evie, the underachieving one of three sisters, is left a cafe on the beach in Cornwall by her aunt after she is killed in a car crash (distressing amount of sudden death in these books I find as a plot device. I have noticed it before). Urged to sell by her rather dull boyfriend and her family who think she will be unable to cope she defies the lot of them and sets off to Cornwall where she is met with hostility from the locals, befriends a homeless teenager, meets a handsome stranger with a secret who turns out to be, gosh how useful, a chef and we all know what is going to happen. Huge fun. Loved it.
Then more thrillers/detective mysteries: Gallows View by Peter Robinson, an Inspector Banks mystery I had not read and, as expected, excellent and unputdownable; Wednesday's Child also by Peter Robinson; the latest thriller set in Iceland by Quentin Bates Chilled to the Bone featuring his rather interesting heroine, Gunnhildur Gisladottir, who seems to be relatively normal with a relatively normal family life which is a change in this genre. These books are nicely plotted and tightly written and hope this is set fair to be a good long series.; Past Imperfect by John Matthews (another one found in the hotel) - a boy who is involved in a serious car crash and is in a coma has therapy on his recovery and finds another personality taking over, that of a young French boy who was murdered some thirty years earlier. Very interesting and exciting book but a tad wordy and so many characters that I lost track of them all. Really enjoyed it though. Axe by Ed McBain another in the 87th Precinct series which are now all available on Kindle. Will write separately about these books as I think they are worthy of a post all on their own.
I also read the India Black and the Shadow of Anarchy by Carol K Carr which was sent to me by the lovely author some time ago and who must be wondering why I have not reviewed it yet. The reason for that is because I was saving it up as a treat and knowing I had it there waiting for me was a wonderful feeling. I have now read it, loved it as much as the others and will be devoting a full post to this terrific book in the next few days.
Since my return I have finished the latest Donna Leon Brunettti book, The Golden Egg and, once again, I was disappointed. I feel she is tiring of her Inspector and it shows. We are now treading and re-treading old ground; corruption and weariness of spirit and a lot of meandering about. Paola now seems to have turned into a cypher character who is only there to cook wonderful meals and I am finding her increasingly irritating. I so loved all these books and I note from some of the reviews on Amazon that others feel the same.
So it seems I have read fifteen books in fourteen days - not bad going.