TBR Thursday 42…

Episode 42


The TBR saw a massive decrease of 1 this week down to 102. (Yay!) Still on track to go below 100 before Christmas – if only my iron willpower holds out.  This will probably be the last TBR Thursday for a while, since November will be given over to the FF Awards for Book of the Year. Even I don’t know who’s going to win this year – which is a little worrying!

Meantime, another bundle of goodies to incite your envy or disdain…



hardcastles quartetCourtesy of NetGalley, an author I know nothing about. But the blurb took my fancy…

The Blurb saysJune 1918. A patrolling constable discovers the body of Georgina Cheney, wife of a naval commander, in the basement area of a house in Westminster. At first it is thought to be suicide or even a tragic accident. But as Divisional Detective Inspector Ernest Hardcastle of the A or Whitehall Division of the Metropolitan Police begins to investigate – ably assisted by Detective Sergeant Charles Marriott – they soon discover a different story. It is clear that the woman was murdered, and revelations about the victim’s previous life in Malta arouse Hardcastle’s interest.

But things are destined to get even more complicated for Hardcastle, when he is assigned two further murder cases by Detective Chief Inspector Frederick Wensley, head of the CID at New Scotland Yard. Could they be connected? This may be a puzzle too tricky even for Hardcastle to solve . . .”

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the bullet catchFrom Henery Press via NetGalley. I loved John Gaspard’s first book, The Ambitious Card – the only time an author has successfully carried out a magic trick on me! I finished my review with the fervent hope that he’d write another…

The Blurb saysNewly-single magician Eli Marks reluctantly attends his high school reunion against his better judgment, only to become entangled in two deadly encounters with his former classmates. The first is the fatal mugging of an old crush’s husband, followed by the suspicious deaths of the victim’s business associates.

At the same time, Eli also comes to the aid of a classmate-turned-movie-star who fears that attempting The Bullet Catch in an upcoming movie may be his last performance. As the bodies begin to pile up, Eli comes to the realization that juggling these murderous situations — while saving his own neck — may be the greatest trick he’s ever performed.

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finished businessNetGalley again, and another new-to-me author. A little bit of historical crime, plus Caligula…

The Blurb saysNovember, AD 40. When a wealthy consul’s wife asks Corvinus to investigate the death of her uncle, killed by a block of falling masonry during renovations on his estate in the Vatican Hills, a sceptical Corvinus is inclined to agree with the general verdict of accidental death. But his investigations reveal clear evidence of foul play, as well as unearthing several skeletons among the closets of this well-to-do but highly dysfunctional family. Who could have wanted Lucius Surdinus dead? His vengeful ex-wife? His ambitious mistress? His disillusioned elder, or his estranged younger, son? Or does the key to the mystery lie in the dead man’s political past? But when Corvinus’s investigations draw him to the attention of the emperor, a dangerously unpredictable Caligula, his prospects of surviving long enough to solve the mystery look slim to say the least.”

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the telegraph book of the first world warThanks to Aurum Press. This one looks fascinating…and massive (600+ large pages of small font). So since there’s very little chance of me reviewing the contents before Christmas, I’ll just mention now that it’s a lovely book in hardback that would be great gift material for anyone interested in the history of the First World War. But I don’t think it will be a light read…

The Blurb saysOne hundred years on, the First World War has not lost its power to clutch at the heart. But how much do we really know about the war that would shape the 20th Century? And, all the more poignantly, how much did people know at the time?

Today, someone fires a shot on the other side of the world and we read about it online a few seconds later. In 1914, with storm clouds gathering over Europe, wireless telephony was in its infancy. So newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph were, for the British public, their only access to official news about the progress of the war.

These reports, many of them eye-witness dispatches, written by correspondents of the Daily Telegraph, bring the First World War to life in an intriguing new way. At times, the effect is terrifying, as accounts of the Somme, Flanders and Gallipoli depict brave and glorious victories, and the distinction between truth and propaganda becomes alarmingly blurred. Some exude a sense of dramatic irony that is almost excruciating, as one catches glimpses of how little the ordinary British people were told during the war of the havoc that was being wrought in their name.

Poignant, passionate and shot-through with moments of bleak humour, The Telegraph Book of the First World War is a full account of the war by some of the country’s most brilliant and colourful correspondents, whose reportage shaped the way that the war would be understood for generations to come.”

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suspended sentencesAnd NetGalley again. It always embarasses me when someone wins the Nobel Prize for Literature and I’ve never even heard of him. So time to get to know Patrick Modiano a little…

The Blurb saysAlthough originally published separately, Patrick Modiano’s three novellas form a single, compelling whole, haunted by the same gauzy sense of place and characters. Modiano draws on his own experiences, blended with the real or invented stories of others, to present a dreamlike autobiography that is also the biography of a place. Orphaned children, mysterious parents, forgotten friends, enigmatic strangers—each appears in this three-part love song to a Paris that no longer exists. In this superb English-language translation of Afterimage, Suspended Sentences, and Flowers of Ruin, Mark Polizzotti captures not only Modiano’s distinctive narrative voice but also the matchless grace and spare beauty of his prose.

Shadowed by the dark period of the Nazi Occupation, these novellas reveal Modiano’s fascination with the lost, obscure, or mysterious: a young person’s confusion over adult behavior; the repercussions of a chance encounter; the search for a missing father; the aftershock of a fatal affair. To read Modiano’s trilogy is to enter his world of uncertainties and the almost accidental way in which people find their fates.

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NB All blurbs taken from NetGalley or Amazon.

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So…what do you think? Do any of these tempt you?


37 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 42…

  1. I admire your ‘won’t power,’ FictionFan. That said though, I do love your choices for this week. I think it’s because I have quite a soft spot for history and for historical novels if they are done well. Combine that with how I feel about crime fiction and I can easily see why these books appealed to you. No disdain here…


    • I’m rather proud of myself at the moment – I’ve been so good! 😉

      Yes, I’m hoping this’ll be a good batch – it’ll be nice to try some new authors after a few weeks of reading all the big pre-Christmas releases from favourites.


  2. Great job on trying to downsize your TBR! My Goodreads TBR has over 300 books on it… Although my owned TBR pile is a lot smaller with ‘only’ 73 books. I should follow your example and try to downsize; I think the huge amount of books I already have probably is the reason I’m staying away from Netgalley for now. 😉

    I think every single book on your list is something I would like to read as well. The crime novels look interesting, and I like the fact that Finished Business takes place in the Roman period. I’ve always been interested in the WWI and Modiano’s work sounds intruiging. 😀


    • I’m really keen to get it down to a workable size – every time anyone recommends a book to me at the moment I have to wait three months at least before I can read it, because of all the review copies. I’m really cutting down on NetGalley – all these are ones I requested a long time ago.

      Yes, all of these have the potential to be goodies I think – and it’ll be fun to be trying out some new authors for a while… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, it would (no surprises) be an unknown to me too Nobeller. I shall request – though hoping each novella is short-ish as I have several NetGalleys in the waiting to be read which are chunky chunky chunky, and I can hear the internalised voices of publishers saying – ‘you asked, now for (deleted expletive)’s sake, woman read. READ!


    • To be fair to us, I don’t think much of his stuff has been translated into English. I’m hoping it’s short too for much the same reason. Though my NG percentage is over 90, I still have about eight books that are, or are just about to become, overdue. But after that, I’ll be almost clear… so long as I can resist the temptation to request more… and then I can read whatever I like, whenever I like! I’ve almost forgotten what that feels like…


      • That’s why I don’t review. But I expect the First World war one will make it on to my list, and possibly all the others too. Oh dear! And I have just been given A.N. Wilson’s biography of Queen Victoria – NOT a “slim volume”.


        • It’s just trying to get the balance right – unfortunately all the goodies tend to come out in batches. The war one looks like it’ll be really interesting. A little bird told me you would be receiving the Queen Vic one – should be another good one! Must admit I’m struggling with Napoleon….


  4. Only the Nobel committee has ever heard of any of their winners. I think they see it as their duty to educate the rest of us hoi polloi. Let me know what you think about Modiano. Perhaps I do need some educating…


    • Yes, it sounds as if it could be great. Of course, they always sound like that from the blurb… 😉

      I’m looking forward to looking back (if you see what I mean) over the year and reminding myself of the books I’ve enjoyed…


  5. Do any of these tempt me?? Only all of them, there isn’t one that I would say no too although I particularly like the sound of Hardcastle’s Quartet and the book on the First World War. Great list but I’m very pleased the awards start next week!


    • Sound good, don’t they? I thought the Hardcastle’s Quartet one might appeal to you, and the First World War book looks very interesting, though I think it’s going to be a huge read.

      Thanks! I just need to start making some decisions now…!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Aha! Okay…Finished Business is a must. The time period alone sells it, I should think. You’ll have to let me know what sort of swords they use. For instance, short, or long, or whatever. Swords are awesome.

    You know, FEF, I’m hoping you get down to 100, but I fear it’s probably not to happen, you know.


  7. Sorry no….but that is probably a good thing , I have more than enough books to keep me going at the moment but a recommendation for you – Ruhtless by Cath Staincliffe – the tv tie in – Scott and Bailey – I really like the tv series and the book is good too.


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