TBR Thursday 66…

Episode 66


The TBR remains at 151. The good news – it hasn’t gone up. The bad news – it hasn’t gone down! Or maybe that’s the good news…

Here are a few that should make it out of the pile soon. All crime this week and all from NetGalley, in a bid to catch up with my reviewing backlog…



smoke and mirrorsI loved The Zig Zag Girl, the first in Elly Griffiths’ new Stephens and Mephisto series, so I’ve been waiting eagerly for this second one, though my heart sank a little when I saw that we’re back on the bandwagon of murdered children…

The Blurb says Brighton, winter 1951. Pantomime season is in full swing on the pier with Max Mephisto starring in Aladdin, but Max’s headlines have been stolen by the disappearance ­­of two local children. When they are found dead in the snow, surrounded by sweets, it’s not long before the press nickname them ‘Hansel and Gretel’. DI Edgar Stephens has plenty of leads to investigate. The girl, Annie, used to write gruesome plays based on the Grimms’ fairy tales. Does the clue lie in Annie’s unfinished – and rather disturbing – last script? Or might it lie with the eccentric theatricals who have assembled for the pantomime?

Once again Edgar enlists Max’s help in penetrating the shadowy theatrical world that seems to hold the key. But is this all just classic misdirection?”

 * * * * *

first one missingI loved Tammy Cohen’s Dying for Christmas so I was delighted to get a copy of this, though my heart sank a little when I saw that we’re back on the bandwagon of murdered children…!

The Blurb says There are three things no-one can prepare you for when your daughter is murdered:

– You are haunted by her memory day and night

– Your friends and family fear you are going mad

– Only in a group with mothers of other victims can you find real comfort.

Welcome to the club no one wants to join.

* * * * *

the dungeon houseI’ve enjoyed a couple of the books of classic crime stories that Martin Edwards has edited, but this will be the first time I’ve read one of his own novels. And it looks like the youngest victim is 16, so we’re heading in the right direction…

The Blurb says The magnificent Dungeon House and gardens overlook Cumbria’s remote western coast with its mix of beaches, dunes, and fells, Roman ruins, and nuclear plant. Twenty years ago the wealthy Whiteleys called it home. But not a happy one. Malcolm Whiteley had begun to disintegrate under financial and emotional pressures. He suspected various men in their social circle of being his wife’s lover. After a disastrous party for the neighbours, Lysette told Malcolm their marriage was over. Sadly an old Winchester rifle he had been hiding was at hand….
Fast forward to today. Hannah Scarlett’s cold case team is looking into the three-year-old disappearance of Lily Elstone whose father Gray had been Malcolm’s accountant. The investigation coincides with yet another disappearance of a teenage girl: Shona Whiteley, daughter of Malcolm’s nephew Nigel, who now lives in the Dungeon House despite its tragic history. As Hannah’s team digs down into the past, doubts arise about what really happened the night Malcolm killed his wife and 16-year-old daughter Amber, then himself.
Most of the people once close to the Whiteleys still live nearby. And one Joanna Footit, and her secrets, now returns from London. While Hannah leads the complex police inquiries, it is her lover, historian Daniel Kind, who supplies Hannah with the lead that unlocks the whole. Does it come too late?

* * * * *

broken promiseI’ve never read anything by Linwood Barclay – a major omission, I feel. And while there is one dead baby, I’m seriously hoping the other one gets to live!! I’m on tenterhooks!!

The Blurb saysThe morning it all started, newspaper reporter David Harwood had plenty to worry about. A single parent with no job, forced to return with his young son to the small town of Promise Falls to live with his parents, the future wasn’t looking too rosy. So when his mother asked him to look in on his cousin Marla, who was still not quite right after losing her baby, it was almost a relief to put the disaster his own life had become to one side.

The relief wouldn’t last long. When he gets to Marla’s house he’s disturbed to find a smear of blood on the front door. He’s even more disturbed to find Marla nursing a baby, a baby she claims was delivered to her ‘by an angel.’ And when, soon after, a woman’s body is discovered across town, stabbed to death, with her own baby missing, it looks as if Marla has done something truly terrible.

But while the evidence seems overwhelming, David just can’t believe that his cousin is a murderer. In which case, who did kill Rosemary Gaynor? And why did they then take her baby and give it to Marla? With the police convinced they have an open and shut case, it’s up to David to find out what really happened, but he soon discovers that the truth could be even more disturbing…” 

* * * * *

NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads.

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


43 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 66…

  1. They all sound rather tempting. However, if you haven’t read Linwood Barclay, I really think you should. I haven’t read this particular one, but he is very good, psychological thrillers with interesting premise and impossible situations. A more nuanced, sensitive Harlan Coben, I would describe him.


    • Oh, that sounds good! I like Harlan Coben as great page-turners, but nuanced he certainly ain’t! I don’t know why I haven’t tried Linwood Barclay before now – just missed him somehow. The blurb is intriguing…


    • These British Library Crime Classics are proving to be great fun, and the covers are brilliant! I’m reading them on Kindle, but if I had space I’d love to have a shelf full of them! This one is very enjoyable so far, about a third of the way through, even if the style is quite dated…


  2. I am not sure whether to congratulate or commiserate with regards to TBR – as my nan would say, it could always be worse! But these look pretty super. I am quite interested in the Martin Edwards – it will be interesting to see what he does with his won novel.


  3. I couldn’t agree more with Marina Sofia, FictionFan. Barclay is so talented, and he writes with just the right amount of wit. I hope you’ll enjoy this one. And I’m actually considering the Griffiths myself, so I’ll be very keen to know what you think of it. Although of course my own TBR would prefer me not to know… 😉


    • Oh, that’s good to know! A bit of wit really makes all the difference in thrillers and crime for me – stops them from becoming too bleak. I have high hopes for the Griffiths – I really enjoyed the first in the series, more than her Ruth Galloway books in fact. Oh, your TBR will just have to look the other way for a moment… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. All of these sound interesting, but I’m on a fantasy kick at the moment – maybe I’ll get to some of these when I next turn to crime.


    • I’m think of having a new Dead Infants Rating system – one star for each child and two for babies. I’m also thinking that I might have a little widget with a running total of dead children this year so far… normally I’d have thought that might be a bit tasteless, but since every book has dead babies in it, clearly it would actually be ultrafashionable…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve not read any of these! While I really don’t much like reading about the murders of small children, Smoke and Mirrors sounds particularly intriguing. My TBR list continues to grow by leaps and bounds, thanks to your fine suggestions, FF, and it loves you to many deaths (as our dear PVJ would so aptly say!!)


    • At the moment it’s actually quite hard to find new release crime novels that don’t involve murdered children – I wish this trend would pass. And I really must stop requesting the books on the basis of the author without checking the blurbs, because I rarely enjoy books about murder and/or abuse of children. But we’ll see! Haha! Thank you – I just hope you enjoy the books when you get time to read some of them! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The good news is I have two of these – and one I’ve read (and have a quote in the paperback edition), First One Missing – The bad news is I really like the sound of the Martin Edwards and I’m very tempted… I haven’t read any of Linwood Barclay’s books either although my friend keeps telling me I should and that sounds quite good too…


    • Ooh, a quote! Oh dear, I’ll need to make sure I like that one then! 😉 I think all of these sound good and I’ll have to race through some crime to get back on track with reviewing – I’m soooo far behind now I’ll be getting chucked out of NG soon!


  7. I loved The Zig Zag Girl too, more than her Ruth Galloway books, but with more murdered children I’ll wait a bit before reading Smoke and Mirrors. I’ve read and enjoyed Martin Edwards’ Lake District mysteries so I’m looking forward to The Dungeon House. haven’t read any of Linwood Barclay’s books – Broken Promise sounds most disturbing – not sure it’s for me.


    • Yes, I preferred it to the Ruth books too – for a start it’s written in past rather than present tense, always a winner for me! Glad to hear you enjoy Edwards’ books – I’ve read some of his collections as editor, but nothing except one short story of his own writing, so looking forward to that one. And Linwood Barclay is one of those names I’ve been aware of for ages but never got around to trying, so I’m intrgued…


  8. Mine’s at approx 130 at the moment, if you count the Kindle books (don’t make me count the Kindle books!). I’m afraid crime doesn’t appeal to me, the large pile of Reykjavik Murder Mysteries on my TBR notwithstanding, but I hope you have fun with these!


    • Yours is 152, though…

      *laughs* Well, I reckon if they’re old enough to leave school and get married (as they are here) then they’re old enough to be fictional murder victims!! Still not old enough to drink though…


      • *screams* 152?! Now how did that happen?

        I wonder what the marrying age is here…I’ve never thought on it. Interestingly, drinking age here is 21, I think. When I was out in LA, though, it must’ve been different, for the chap offered me a beer. It is a wonder.


        • Every time you’re rude to me I add five! Do you want to borrow my calculator?

          Goodness! Googled! And apparently in PA you can get married at under 16 with parental consent! *shocked to her socks* I think it’s most odd that one can marry before one can drink – apart from anything else, how could anyone ever propose sober??


          • Humph noodles. That’s so wicked of you. And I’m so sweet, too.

            Really? That’s interesting. I see that you’re against it, though. I’m not sure what to make of it. I don’t care, the sudden. But if two fifteen-year-olds got married, I’d feel very old. *laughing lots* That is a very good point. What’s the drinking age in Scotland?


            • Oh… yes… sweet! That’s what I meant…

              The idea of 15-year-olds having horrid little kids of their own appals me!!! Mind you, I feel much the same about 30-year-olds… Well, legally, 18 – but generally speaking about 11! *laughs and wishes she was joking*


            • Yes, that’s right. Wicked every other week.

              But they might not have kids until they were older, see. You will come to like kids one day!! 18! Hmm…that’s better than here. *laughing lots* Poor 11-year-olds. Still, rather cool.


            • And extra wicked when there’s a full moon…

              Personally I’d make 18 the age for everything. 21 seems awfully old to have a drink legally and 16 is way, way, way, way, way too young to get married! I don’t think the 11-year-olds drink as much as they used to – I think they go straight on to drugs now… *schoolmarm face*


            • Yes! A red one.

              Wait…21 seems awfully old for something?! Haha, never thought I’d hear you admit that! Sixteen is rather too young to get married, I feel as well. Right on drugs…how horrid. *shakes head* *laughs about schoolmarm*


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