TBR Thursday 17…

Episode 17


Rigid self-control means the TBR is down to 99 – the broken-hearted sobbing that went along with rejecting so many lovely books will ease soon, I’m sure. And, as usual, the situation is NOT helped by all the great reviews around the blogosphere. I’d love to read all of this week’s shortlist, not to mention the other 6 that made it onto the longlist, but I’m sticking to just one. Probably.

So, with my usual grateful thanks to all the reviewers who’ve intrigued and inspired me over the last few weeks, here are:

The Runners-Up…


the prisoner of heavenHistorical mystery, following on from the much lauded The Shadow of the Wind…

Wordman says: “If I knew where to begin, I’d explore the storyline that unfolded before my very eyes, and take you inside the dark, dank abandoned mansion where David Martin pens of his own madness; I’d want you to be a part of the clandestine affairs within the shadows of Barcelona, and come face to face with Andreas Corelli who knows your innermost desires even before you know them yourself.

See the full review at Wordman


the final act of mr shakespeare Shakespeare is pulled out of retirement to write a new play…

Lady Fancifull says “…historical mystery, theatrical and creative gloriousness, and a pretty cast of characters assembled. AND we have an unpublished new ‘Shakespeare’ play by Robert Winder – Henry VII – not the play he has been commissioned to write at all, but something subversive and dangerous. The bulk of this stunningly enjoyable romp is the making of the play, and then we have the play itself, privately performed.

See the full review at Lady Fancifull


The FarmFamily secrets and divided loyalties in this psychological thriller…

Raven says: “What is most intriguing about the book, and accomplished by the exquisite pace of the narrative, is how a family structure can be so quickly thrown into turmoil. Daniel has withheld his homosexuality from his parents,  his parents have not been entirely truthful about the happiness of their retirement, and Daniel is cast into the unenviable position of questioning which parent to believe…

See the full review at Raven Crime Reads


Daughter of FortuneFrom Chile to the Californian gold fields…

Delia says: I enjoyed this book for the sense of adventure and the historical references. The story keeps up an engaging pace and the reader is kept guessing until the very last sentence in the book. Although one might get a feel for where the story is going, the question remains: will Eliza find her first love, and if she does what will she do? Only that last line will provide the answer…”

See the full review at Postcards from Asia


And the winner is…


the redemption of alexander seatonHistorical crime set in Scotland in the 1620s…irresistible. The review is of the third in the series, Crucible, but it seems to make sense to read the first one first…

Books Please says “I read the first in February 2013 and now a year later I’ve been just as engrossed in Crucible. I think her style of writing suits me perfectly, the characters are just right, credible well-rounded people, the plot moves along swiftly with no unnecessary digressions and it’s just full of atmosphere. I loved it.

See the full review at Books Please


Lots of historical stuff this week – an area I’ve been neglecting recently. So which of these appeal to you?

45 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 17…

    • Yes, I’d like to read both of them…all of them in fact! Trying to pick a winner each time is the hardest bit of blogging – just reminds me of all the good books I haven’t got time for!


  1. I’m becoming convinced that all the dastardly murders North of the Border can probably be laid at your door – not that you would sully your fair hands, but all this crime reading means you can advise (possibly) on how to commit the perfect crime based on your knowledge from the genre of where they went wrong and got nabbed.

    You would of course immediately know which one would be most appealing here – Wordman’s – I can feel my inner mystic wake-up and say ‘MY TURN’ though the Allende is also interesting, on past form

    I’m even tempted to go for an early re-read of my own entry on this short-list – except that its far too quick for that….this time next year, maybe!


    • You’ve sussed me – I am in fact Professor McMoriarty! Expect a spate of murders by deep fried Mars Bar any time now…

      Have you read The Shadow of the Wind? I keep coming across people raving about it, but I can never quite convince my self to try it – someday!


  2. PS I’m sure congratulations are in order for the whittling down of the TBR so it just comes out from 3 digit territory – and that the broken hearted sobbing will be eased by some comforting chocolate.

    In fact, I’m SOOOOO upset for you, the idea of your broken-hearted sobbing is so distressing i might have to avail myself of some home made seed cake which i prepared earlier………especially to console myself for making the podium but not getting gold (well, that is my excuse)


    • It’s my New Year Resolution – I can’t go on with this huge TBR, it preys on what’s left of my mind. I’ve had to pass up on so many lovely NG books though this month…

      Congratulations on being a runner-up! Isn’t seed cake bird food? 😉


      • Ancient Victorian tea table fare according to the afternoon tea book someone gave me. Caraway seeds figure for that satisfying crunch though I did do my usual tinker with ingredients, this time adding lime as well as savagely reducing the sugar. I’ll let you know if I succumb to an urge to squawk Pretty Polly whilst standing on one leg and bobbing my head.


  3. I read Shaow of the Wind in Feb 08, so of course can’t
    remember too much, but I do recall the feeling of being
    in a back secluded room with dusty bookcases–and the
    searching, discovery of the hidden books. It was a book
    club selection which rec’d good discussion as I recall.


  4. I loved ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ but haven’t been convinced by anything else he’s written since. However, the Allende is another matter – a superb book.


    • I’ve seen quite a few reviews from people who feel that the later books didn’t match up to the first – that’s partly why I never quite get around to adding it to my list. I know if I enjoyed the first I’d feel I wanted to read the others…

      Allende’s one of those authors I keep hearing great things about. That would have been my second choice this week, but I’ve got lots of big heavyish reads coming up, so though I’d go for something lighter and come back to her at a later date.


    • Well, that’s great – ‘cos if you like it and review it, that’ll give me another chance to put it on a future TBR Thursday, and if you hate it I’ve saved myself a disappointment! 😉


  5. I quite enjoyed The Shadow of the Wind – couldn’t get into his second book, though. Allende is an author I’ve not read yet – I have one of her books in my TBRs, so I’ll see what that’s like before adding any more (I have far too many TBRs as it is!). I’m really tempted though by the Shakespeare book.

    I hope you enjoy The Redemption of Alexander Seaton as much as I did!


    • Yes, a lot of people who enjoyed the first one seem to have struggled with the others – I’m sure The Shadow will make it onto my TBR one of these days.

      The Alexander Seaton books look great – I’m really looking forward to them. Have you read Lexie Conyngham’s books? Mysteries set in post-Enlightenment Scotland – I think they’re really well written and bring the time to life.


  6. “The Final Act of Mr. Shakespeare” sounds interesting. Maybe I should read it and compare it to a book I read a year or two ago, “The Tragedy of Arthur,” by Arthur Phillips. Phillips’s book includes a “lost” play and a faux memoir of the author who’s trying to convince himself of the authenticity of the play that was supposedly stolen by his con man father. The author is a one of those wickedly smart people who know more than is good for them. Here’s a link to a NYTime review of the book. I enjoyed the novel, but I didn’t read the play at the end. It’s not supposed to be very good, and I really was more interested in the novel, itself.


  7. Really just commenting here to see if I am still “Anonymous”. I quite fancy the McLean – isn’t it good that authors have noticed that Scotland actually had some history that wasn’t Mary, Queen of Scots or Bonnie Prince Charlie (my pet aversions)?


    • Ah, you seem to be yourself again.

      Yes it looks good – now all these Scottish authors need is to get marketed a bit more aggressively. If it wasn’t for blogs I’d never come across them.


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