TBR Thursday 45…

The People’s Choice 5…


It’s the 15th January and I’m still sticking rigidly to my resolutions. I’m somewhat baffled therefore as to why my TBR has gone up 4 this week to 137. It may have something to do with the fact that I appear to be reading three 600-page books at the same time – hmm! My brand new reading plan may need some fine-tuning.

So…a People’s Choice Poll! The first of the year, and these are all crime, though not all fiction. My willpower needs your help to resist temptation. So which one of these do you think most deserves a place on the TBR? The winner will be announced next Thursday…

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

The Contenders…


the secret placeThe Blurb – The photo on the card shows a boy who was found murdered, a year ago, on the grounds of a girls’ boarding school in the leafy suburbs of Dublin. The caption says, I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM.

Cleo says: “The plot is brilliant with the twists and turns keeping me guessing, torn between wanting to race through the book but holding back in case I missed a scrap of information that would hold the key to the mystery. I am pleased to report that the ending works well, this author hasn’t cheated us, the clues were all there revealed slowly but surely in amongst a whole bucketful of red-herrings.

See the full review at Cleopatra Loves Books


the front seat passengerThe BlurbFabien and Sylvie both knew their marriage wasn’t working. But when Sylvie is involved in a fatal car accident, Fabien is stunned to discover she had a lover who died with her. Harbouring thoughts of revenge, he tracks down the lover’s widow, Martine, and begins stalking her. Fabien is desperate to get Martine on her own. And that won’t happen until he deals with her protective best friend, Madeleine…

Margot says: Garnier’s stories often feature ordinary human beings – people one might see at a shop, a restaurant or the cinema – who are driven to desperation. That desperation leads to all kinds of events that often go from bad to worse…

See the full review at Confessions of a Mystery Novelist


the murder of the centuryThe Blurb – On Long Island, a farmer finds a duck pond turned red with blood. On the Lower East Side, two boys playing at a pier discover a floating human torso wrapped tightly in oilcloth. Blueberry pickers near Harlem stumble upon neatly severed limbs in an overgrown ditch. Clues to a horrifying crime are turning up all over New York, but the police are baffled: There are no witnesses, no motives, no suspects. The grisly finds that began on the afternoon of June 26, 1897, plunged detectives headlong into the era’s most baffling murder mystery. Seized upon by battling media moguls Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, the case became a publicity circus. Reenactments of the murder were staged in Times Square, armed reporters lurked in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen in pursuit of suspects, and an unlikely trio — a hard-luck cop, a cub reporter, and an eccentric professor — all raced to solve the crime.

History Reading Challenge says: “Collins does a magnificent job of capturing mood and public sentiment in the tone of his narrative. That is, he maintains the excitement of spectacle – the tasteless kind you can’t quite look away from – and yet, you can still take seriously what he has to say because his research offers such a complete picture and plenty of food for thought.

See the full review at History Reading Challenge


the house of stairsThe Blurb – Lizzie hasn’t seen her old friend, Bell, for some fourteen years, but when she spots her from a taxi in a London street she jumps out and pursues her despite ‘all the terrible things’ that passed between them. As Lizzie reveals those events, little by little, the women rekindle their friendship, with terrifying results…

Lady Fancifull says: “…Vine assembles a wonderfully drawn collection of individuals from across the classes, painting a portrait of a society moving from the more rigid mores of the 50s to a period of change, shake up and anything goes sex. And the twists, turns and plot intricacies, though slowly unfurled, are inexorable and keep the reader glued to ‘just another chapter’

See the full review at Lady Fancifull


the unquiet deadThe BlurbDespite their many differences, Detective Rachel Getty trusts her boss, Esa Khattak, implicitly. But she’s still uneasy at Khattak’s tight-lipped secrecy when he asks her to look into Christopher Drayton’s death. Drayton’s apparently accidental fall from a cliff doesn’t seem to warrant a police investigation, particularly not from Rachel and Khattak’s team, which handles minority-sensitive cases. But when she learns that Drayton may have been living under an assumed name, Rachel begins to understand why Khattak is tip-toeing around this case. It soon comes to light that Drayton may have been a war criminal with ties to the Srebrenica massacre of 1995.

Carol says: This is a complex book about family, beliefs, relationships, loss, justice, trust, crimes and the ugliness in our world. This book begs you to read it and defies you to not be moved, this book pricks at your conscience and perhaps persuades you to choose a path that is more tolerant and accepting or maybe it gives you a nudge to become a more political individual; after you have read this book you will not be the person you were when you woke this morning.”

See the full review at Reading, Writing and Riesling


NB All blurbs and covers are taken from Goodreads.

Another tricky choice, isn’t it? So…over to you! Choose just one or as many as you like – the book with most votes will be this week’s winner…

Hope you pick a good one! 😉

51 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 45…

  1. I picked Barbara Vine because I just heard that Ruth Rendell is in hospital following a stroke – and I don’t think I can bear two grandes dames of crime fiction to disappear in quick succession (PD James and now her).


    • Oh, I’m sorry to hear that about Ruth Rendell. That really would feel like a generational shift somehow. I’ve never actually read any of her Barbara Vine books – a strange omission, I must admit…


  2. I think you need to stop fertilizing your TBR patch. Beyond that, this list is to me what a kid would feel left alone in the candy store. Just start at the top and keep going till you are done.


  3. Well I’m not unselfish enough NOT to vote for my own recommendation (thanks for hefting it to your potential TBR), particularly as crimeworm and I have been trading favourite Vine recommendations on my blog, and I’ve just ordered one of the Vine’s I DON’T have which is worthy of a re-read – I think I’m going to revisit her big time this year, as HOS re-read reminded me how good she is.

    But I have to admit The Unquiet Dead, and Reading, Writing and Riesling’s passionate and well argued justification ALSO got my vote

    I’m really sorry to hear MarinaSofia’s news re Ruth Rendell too.

    Read both, FF. Read both. Look, crimeworm MADE me add another Barbara Vine re-read to the buy pile, Fleur In Her World MADE me add another book to the bought download . And someone else made me request something else from NG Why should I be alone to suffer in my book inspired weak willed state. Particularly as I have just had a particularly unpleasant visit to the Dungeons in the Tower of London. Okay, I was able to enter and leave, along with my companion, a Mr Shardlake, but inevitably I was a little fearful in case someone decided to prevent us from departing. I swear i heard screaming from along the corridor


    • Well, if it doesn’t win this time, then your future reviews should give her other chances. Yes, sad news indeed – she feels like the last of that generation of writers.

      The Unquiet Dead is racing ahead at the moment, but I must say I’ll be sorry to lose The Murder of the Century too.

      Stop tempting me!! You’re supposed to be bolstering my willpower!! So glad you’re enjoying Sansom though – I felt I was immersed in that world all the time I was reading it…


      • I was reading on the bus this afternoon and something happened, and I uttered, loudly, ‘oh NO’ At least I realised quickly enough where i was, else I might have vocalised louder and longer. And I’m only about 40% in, so I expect a lot more anxious/fearful/shocked/relieved shouts will rend the air, not to mention, probably, little chuckles, inconsolably sobs, disgusted retching and a lot more. But as I’ve said elsewhere, when i realise where i am, it is with enormous relief that it isn’t in the time of Henry VIII. I definitely keeping well clear of angry looking, very overweight middle aged red headed men. Especially if they have beards and happen to be wearing doublets and hose


        • Yes, Henry doesn’t come off too well, does he? Poor old soul, but I suppose that’s what happens if you endlessly chop your wives heads off. A lesson to us all! I know you will, but remember to read Sansom’s little essay at the end – nearly as interesting as the book…


          • Oh, fear not, I’m an obsessive reader of everything, including the acknowledgements to pet parrots, the local coffee shop and the newsagent’s on the corner without whom this book would never have been written and all praise is due, with any errors being purely mine.

            Unless of course its a book I abandoned some 20 pages in because i could not bear to waste any more of my time on the wretched thing, or its wretched author.

            Something which will absolutely not be happening in this case. I’ll probably even read the information about the typeface.

            I’ve still got a long way to go but have to keep putting the book down because of feeling too anxious. What is rather wonderful is that I’m having little sense of the author. I don’t think he exists, really. Shardlake wrote it. I may be some time holding this illusion


            • Yes, I think that’s very true – I never feel like I’m reading Sansom either. Which, now you mention it, is interesting, because when I read his non-Shardlake books, I’m always conscious of Sansom’s voice and feel he inserts his own agenda in to them too much… intriguing…


            • I could get all spooky wooky on this and slip into my gossamer robes, light some incense and make passes over a crystal ball. Oh, allright, a blow up beach ball in canary yellow…………and say Shardlake has done one of those wicked things, placed Sansom under his control, and is writing his story USING Sansom as his medium. Whaddya mean there was never any such character as Shardlake and Sansom is inventing him? Say it’s not so!!!!!!!!


    • The problem is I want to read them all! But yes, The Murder of the Century sounds brill, doesn’t it? I suspect it may sneak on to the TBR even if it loses… (I’m useless at this willpower thing, really…)


  4. The House of Stairs! That sounds amazing to me. Well, it has the chance to be amazing–we can’t be sure yet. Until you read it. Tell BUS to change her vote, too.

    3 600 page books? Wow. I’m impressed. Do you read a page in each per day?


    • Really?? Now I wouldn’t have had that down as Professorish at all! Must redo my (lengthy) list of recommendations for you…

      *chuckling* Is that how you’re reading Bleak House? That’s great! You should finish about June…2016…


        • It’s deleted from my spreadsheet but etched in my memory banks… but don’t be afraid! There’s only 42 books on it at the moment…

          *laughing lots* Your attempt to divert my attention has failed, sir!! Get reading! *scary strict schoolmarm look*


            • It is! And you should! But I’ve tried… you’ve beaten me! My mind-control powers don’t seem to work on you… *shakes head sadly*

              Well apart from the fact that it’s an insect – hence too many legs and all that creepy flying about stuff – very cool! Get back to your book!


            • I shall! Are you off then? Have a great trip (try not to let Nick get you into any trouble)! I shall be waiting for the resulting video with eager anticipation… *smiles hugely*

              Perhaps you already have some invisible ones. But don’t try jumping off any high buildings till you’re sure…


            • Thursday! That’s when. Oh dear. Well, I fear we had to cancel that particular video. Rest assured, however, there will a few (hopefully) in February. We just couldn’t get what we needed for the beech. Dadblame hotel staff.

              I should give it a go–prove I’m brave!


            • Oh, how disappointing! Well… I suppose I can wait till February, if I must. *woebegone but brave face* Have fun, anyway!

              Nooooooooo!!! *rushes to America carrying a big net*


  5. Had to vote for Murder of the Century because it sounds like it’s written as well as Devil in the White City, one that I loved despite its creepiness.

    The Unquiet Dead would be a close second. And now on second thought, it might tie. I’ve gotta stop reading your reading list so I can get some of my own work done! 😀


    • Looks like The Unquiet Dead is on the road to victory but, between you and me, The Murder of the Century might well slip onto the TBR anyway. Sounds brill! That’s the problem with these polls – I want them all to win!

      Now…get back to work! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t either, and would like to. That’s the problem with these polls though – I always want to read all of them! No willpower…

      Thanks for popping by and commenting. 🙂


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