TBR Thursday 96…

Episode 96…

I’ve been such a good girl since my last TBR post! I’m proud to say that the figure has dropped by a massive 7 taking it down to 177 (4 read, 3 abandoned!), and my splurge of reading (or abandoning) mediocre review copies over the summer has seriously put me off asking for more* until I get rid of most of the 38 still outstanding. Aren’t you proud of me? I’m feeling kinda smug…

(*This was written on Tuesday. Since then I accidentally requested 3 books from NG, was offered one by an author I previously enjoyed and was promised another by a publisher. Not feeling quite so smug now! But really they were all essential to my emotional well-being…)

Here are a few that will be rising to the top of the pile soon…

True Crime

black-river-roadCourtesy of the publisher, Goose Lane. Debra Komar was recommended to me by the lovely Naomi at Consumed by Ink, so I was delighted when I managed to snaffle a review copy of her new release…

The Blurb says: In 1869, in the woods just outside of the bustling port city of Saint John, a group of teenaged berry pickers discovered several badly decomposed bodies. The authorities suspected foul play, but the identities of the victims were as mysterious as that of the perpetrator. From the twists and turns of a coroner’s inquest, an unlikely suspect emerged to stand trial for murder: John Munroe, a renowned architect, well-heeled family man, and pillar of the community.

Munroe was arguably the first in Canada’s fledgling judicial system to actively defend himself, and his lawyer’s strategy was as simple as it was revolutionary: Munroe’s wealth, education and exemplary character made him incapable of murder. The press, and Saint John’s elite, vocally supported Munroe, sparking a debate about character and murder that continues to this day. In re-examining a precedent-setting historical crime with fresh eyes, Komar addresses questions that still echo through the halls of justice more than a century later: Is everyone capable of murder, and should character be treated as evidence in homicide trials?

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magpie-murdersCourtesy of NetGalley. Having loved Horowitz’s take on the world of Sherlock Holmes in both The House of Silk and Moriarty, I’m really excited to read his new crime venture…

The Blurb says:  When editor Susan Ryeland is given the tattered manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has little idea it will change her life. She’s worked with the revered crime writer for years and his detective, Atticus Pund, is renowned for solving crimes in the sleepy English villages of the 1950s. As Susan knows only too well, vintage crime sells handsomely. It’s just a shame that it means dealing with an author like Alan Conway…

But Conway’s latest tale of murder at Pye Hall is not quite what it seems. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but hidden in the pages of the manuscript there lies another story: a tale written between the very words on the page, telling of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition and murder.

From Sunday Times bestseller Anthony Horowitz comes Magpie Murders, his deliciously dark take on the vintage crime novel, brought bang- up-to-date with a fiendish modern twist.

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the-life-of-louis-xviCourtesy of NetGalley. After excursions into true crime and various types of geekery recently, some successful, some swiftly abandoned, time to get back to some “proper” history…

The Blurb says: Louis XVI of France, who was guillotined in 1793 during the Revolution and Reign of Terror, is commonly portrayed in fiction and film either as a weak and stupid despot in thrall to his beautiful, shallow wife, Marie Antoinette, or as a cruel and treasonous tyrant. Historian John Hardman disputes both these versions in a fascinating new biography of the ill-fated monarch. Based in part on new scholarship that has emerged over the past two decades, Hardman’s illuminating study describes a highly educated ruler who, though indecisive, possessed sharp political insight and a talent for foreign policy; who often saw the dangers ahead but could not or would not prevent them; and whose great misfortune was to be caught in the violent center of a major turning point in history.

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echoes-of-sherlock-holmesCourtesy of NetGalley. There are some weel-kent names amongst the contributors to this anthology – John Connolly, Denise Mina, Anne Perry…

The Blurb says: In this follow-up to the acclaimed In the Company of Sherlock Holmes, expert Sherlockians Laurie King and Les Klinger put forth the question: What happens when great writers/creators who are not known as Sherlock Holmes devotees admit to being inspired by Conan Doyle stories? While some are highly-regarded mystery writers, others are best known for their work in the fields of fantasy or science fiction. All of these talented authors, however, share a great admiration for Arthur Conan Doyle and his greatest creations, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

To the editors’ great delight, these stories go in many directions. Some explore the spirit of Holmes himself; others tell of detectives themselves inspired by Holmes’s adventures or methods. A young boy becomes a detective; a young woman sharpens her investigative skills; an aging actress and a housemaid each find that they have unexpected talents. Other characters from the Holmes stories are explored, and even non-Holmesian tales by Conan Doyle are echoed. The variations are endless!

Although not a formal collection of new Sherlock Holmes stories—however some do fit that mold—instead these writers were asked to be inspired by the Conan Doyle canon. The results are breathtaking, for fans of Holmes and Watson as well as readers new to Doyle’s writing—indeed, for all readers who love exceptional storytelling.

(Breathtaking? I do hope the blurb writer isn’t hyperventilating… 😉 )

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NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads or Amazon.ok

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

49 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 96…

    • I wish I had the willpower to stay away from NetGalley – it’s been a killer week again this week! But the Horowitz looks great – go on! You know you’ll regret it if you don’t… 😉

  1. Ooh the Louis XVI book looks amazing! Have been reading nonstop lately but not reviewing so I can’t even look at Netgalley until Iget a handle on things! Well done and enjoy:)

    • It does, doesn’t it? I love history in the form of biography, and I know very little about Louis so I’m really looking forward to it. Oh, I wish I had the willpower to stay away from NetGalley – but I can’t!! I’m completely swamped with overdue review books though – I’ll definitely need to grow an extra head or something… 😉

      Thanks for popping in! 🙂

  2. Well, I think it’s completely unfair that you got drawn into adding books to your TBR like that, FictionFan! To be honest, I see it as a plot – a conspiracy between authors, publishers and NG – to get you to add to that TBR! 😉

    There, that said, your additions do look tempting. Horowitz is a skilled writer, so it’d be interesting to see what he does with that GA sort of topic. And all of those different takes on Holmes… intriguing! I’ll be interested to see what you think of these when you get there.

    • Thank you for understanding, Margot – I am the inncoent victim here!! I don’t know why they all pick on me… 😉

      The Horowitz sounds great – I’m really looking forward to that one. And I’ve had a sneak peak at a couple of the Holmes stories – both excellent, so fingers well crossed for the rest…

    • I know – I usually try to get a better balance but I’m kind of being driven by my reviewing backlog at the moment. I think the Black River Road one sounds excellent – should be starting it today. But I have high hopes for the Horowitz too… 🙂

    • Haha! I don’t know why I write these posts in advance – it’s almost inevitable I’ll then go on a book-acquiring spree! It is very crime heavy this week, but one’s just arrived in the post that I might be able to tempt you with soon… then we’ll see who’s looking smug! 😉

  3. Hellooooo!!! I’m back, but only sporadically. I parted ways with my agent and am scurrying about to find a new one who is sympatico with what I’m trying to write. Soooo, I will be here but not a daily visitor. Sad to say…..

    I’m so appalled by the leniency given to those of privilege in the U.S. (recent cases come to mind) that I would not enjoy the true crime book. I do think that Louis sounds interesting. Perhaps he spent too much time eating cake to face reality…..

    • Hello!! Sorry to hear about the agent, but probably best in the long run if s/he wasn’t fully committed to what you’re doing. Hope you find another one.soon!

      Oh, I can read about historical crime much more easily than current crime – I’m intrigued with this one to know if he was convicted. The Louis book should be good, though somewhat brick-like in size! I know nearly nothing about that pre-revolution period…

      • Yes, I think it’s much easier to distance oneself from historical crime. It was a different era, etc…but when today’s crime is diminished or vilified because of the particular class to which the criminal belongs, it makes me ill. A brick? I’m sorry to hear that. Hefty tomes tend to make me shudder these days. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say about it. Will live vicariously through you.

        • Indeed! Over here, the government has cut back on legal aid, so it’s getting to be even more the case that the wealthy get a softer deal in the courts. Still, Trump’ll sort everything out, eh? 😉 Yes, I’m thinking the only way to get control of the TBR is to ban any books that are over 200 pages…

  4. Always the Horowitz – and who could resist a Holmes collection? Louis XVI sounds interesting: I don’t know enough French history.

    • So far, three stories in, the Holmes collection is shaping up to be really excellent! All spins off from the originals rather than pastiches so far. Really looking forward to reading the Horowitz – if it’s as good as his Holmes books, it’ll be great! And the Louis book should be interesting – my knowledge of French history is pretty abysmal, but getting a little better with a few recent reads…

  5. Oh dear. Oh dear. I was about to leave, thinking ‘none of them, quite safe………….and then I wobbled at the Horowitz. I loved House of Silk (which I think was one you nodded me towards), but was pretty critical of Moriarty, which didn’t work for me…………so, I stood on one foot, stood on the other, admired the cover………and thought what the heck, I’m above the 80% percentage …but not for long as two earlier requests have been agreed……we wait and see. I suppose I could just drink a lot more coffee and sleep much less….

    • Ooh, I hope you get approved! I love the idea of it, and the cover – hope it lives up to expectations! Talking of which, Conclave is fab so far…

      Sadly, after doing really well all through Sept., I’ve had a major NG splurge this week – loads of factual books and a few of my fave crime writers bringing out their books in time for Christmas. I wish they would ban me…

      • That is REALLY good to know (Conclave) It is sitting on the bedside table, waiting for me to finish reading and review a curate’s egg of a housebrick twice the length of Harris. Oh that the author had understood the value of tautness. Or had an editor adept in helping to achieve this. It is likely to make my blog, so all will be revealed in due course, and I shall no doubt fall upon the Harris with a sense of relief, after 600 pages where the elastic band of tension had been stretched to far and lost its spring.

        Not to mention there are 2 more finished books still to be reviewed. Four stars, both, so they will make the blog, but so much harder to write than anything close to 5. Well, that’s not quite true, some extravagantly 5 star can be tough too, as struggle to illustrate why without reveal, and have to work out what praise to jettison in favour of writing something shorter than the book itself!

        • I was updating my reading list last night and actually thinking that books may be dropping back to more reasonable lengths, especially crime novels, after a few years of ridiculously over-stuffed books. But there are still a good few of them on my list too. It’s not that I object to length as such, it’s when the length isn’t justified by the needs of the story that my teeth begin to grind.

          I’m also behind with reviews – I haven’t got back into my stride properly after all the tennis. Must try to write some today or the blog will look very empty next week! I warn you in advance that I’ll be reviewing Conclave either Monday or Wednesday so you may wish to avoid – I’ll avoid spoilers, of course, but it’s one I think is better read knowing nothing about it and without having other people’s opinions in your head… but do hurry up and read it so we can discuss!!

      • PS you may be relieved to know you won’t need to read my deathless prose of the curate’s egg housebrick on the blog. The last hundred pages of the 600 gave me reader’s blisters, and I finished, limping, with a twisted reading ankle and a 3 1/2 star rating. Not to mention an Amazon review (it being a Vine book) which is far more vinegary than I thought it would be. I better find a way to write the two other reviews which will be four stars, and make the blog, before the siren call of Harris is answered…….

        • There’s nothing worse (except maybe ingrown toenails) than a 600-page book that falls away at the end! I can’t remember the last time I took a Vine book – I’m always so bogged down in NG books I can’t fit books in to that 30 day deadline. So because I don’t take them, I also don’t get offered many now. Which is probably a good thing!!

          • I have had some great ones, often from a just in case trawl of VfA, generally for authors I valued from the past – the Penney was one such which bombed, but so was Eowyn Ivey’s second, which soared. And was also long,and also set in the frozen North, but every step had me glued to the journey which was always going somewhere interesting

            • I looked at the Penney but really couldn’t fit it in, and I’m rather glad I didn’t now! I do find it quite scary the books that end up on VfA – if they can’t get people to take them for free, what hope is there for selling them? And that’s not solely to do with the 30 day deadline, because great books always ended up on whatever the remainder list used to be called. However I may not be taking books, but I’m set up in post-it notes for life! I could open a shop…

    • I know so little about pre-revolutionary France so I’m really looking forward to that one! Yes, I always find it intriguing how history changes over time – or at least the interpretations of it do. That’s why I’d love to have a time machine…

    • Balck River Road is going very well so far, but I got distracted by another book so haven’t got very far into it yet. Ha! Tell me about it! It’s been a horrendous week fo book acquiring – must be all the Christmas books coming ont NG…

  6. I have to say that the Horowitz looks the most tempting to me, although I’ve never read him before!

    I loved your asterisk and confession in the first paragraph, by the way.

    By doing some judicious weeding lately, I’ve whittled my TBR on Goodreads to just over 500! Huzzah!

      • 😹😹 Same same but this month I’m doing a challenge, hosting it actually 😉 and I have to tackle books for genres I don’t normally read … A non fantasy/Ya/Romance book ( the horror ). It’s overlooked genre October #THATgenre to find posts… just saying. 😅

        • It’s always good to read outside your comfort zone – great idea for a challenge! Fantasy and romance are two genres I tend to avoid, but I’ve been trying to see what I’m missing in fantasy recently – not doing too well so far, but I’ll keep trying… 🙂

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