TBR Thursday 123 and 20 Books of Summer Poll Result…

Episode 123…

Just a small increase in the TBR since my last post – up 1 to 196. Oh, excuse me one moment – the postman’s at the door…

Now, where was I? Oh yes, up 2 to 197. But that’s pretty good, since I’ve been a little distracted…

Here are a few that should help fill in the gaps between matches during this tennis season…


Courtesy of the publisher, Harvill Secker. I loved Mukherjee’s debut novel, A Rising Man, so this is one of my most anticipated books of the year. No pressure then…

The Blurb says: India, 1920. Captain Wyndham and Sergeant Banerjee of the Calcutta Police Force investigate the dramatic assassination of a Maharajah’s son.

The fabulously wealthy kingdom of Sambalpore is home to tigers, elephants, diamond mines and the beautiful Palace of the Sun. But when the heir to the throne is assassinated in the presence of Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant ‘Surrender-Not’ Banerjee, they discover a kingdom riven with suppressed conflict. Prince Adhir was a moderniser whose attitudes – and romantic relationship – may have upset the more religious elements of his country, while his brother – now in line to the throne – appears to be a feckless playboy.

As Wyndham and Banerjee desperately try to unravel the mystery behind the assassination, they become entangled in a dangerous world where those in power live by their own rules and those who cross their paths pay with their lives. They must find a murderer, before the murderer finds them…

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One that’s been on my TBR for far too long – ever since Cleo’s great review of it way back in April last year. I loved the film Heavenly Creatures, which tells the story of the real-life murder on which this book is more loosely based – a fascinating  and disturbing case in its own right, so I have high hopes of this one. It will be my first Beryl Bainbridge…

The Blurb says: Beryl Bainbridge’s evocation of childhood in a rundown northern holiday resort.

A girl returns from boarding school to her sleepy Merseyside hometown and waits to be reunited with her childhood friend, Harriet, chief architect of all their past mischief. She roams listlessly along the shoreline and the woods still pitted with wartime trenches, and encounters ‘the Tsar’ – almost old, unhappily married, both dangerously fascinating and repulsive.

Pretty, malevolent Harriet finally arrives – and over the course of the long holidays draws her friend into a scheme to beguile then humiliate the Tsar, with disastrous, shocking consequences. A gripping portrayal of adolescent transgression, Beryl Bainbridge’s classic first novel remains as subversive today as when it was written.

* * * * *

Crime on Audio

Having loved Hugh Fraser’s narration of The ABC Murders, I promptly used up all my spare Audible credits on as many of his versions of the Christie novels as I could lay my greedy little hands on. Time to revisit one of the real gems… 

The Blurb says: Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N. Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide. The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again…and again. (See, even blurbs were shorter back in the Good Old Days…)

* * * * *

The 20th Book

Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s poll to decide which book should take the 20th spot on my list for the 20 Books of Summer Challenge. It was very exciting, with three books staying neck and neck for a while, but eventually one pulled ahead into a clear lead…

And the winner is…

The Blurb says: On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs–the painter–and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members–including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot–the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage.

Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

The Malice of Waves and Above the Waterfall came equal second, so they will be my fall-back books in case of abandonment issues…

* * * * *

NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads or Audible UK.

* * * * *

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

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58 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 123 and 20 Books of Summer Poll Result…

  1. You do have a nice selection there, FIctionFan. And it’s good to see you’ll be listening to And Then There Were None.. I really do think that’s one of Christie’s top stories. And with Hugh Fraser narrating, well.. I remember being much intrigued when Cleo reviewed Harriet Said. I’ll be keen to find out what you think of it.


    • I think Hugh Fraser’s narration of And Then There Were None should be great. 😀 Yes, I’m intrigued by Harriet Said, and I’ve been meaning to try Beryl Bainbridge for decades…!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I loved his first book, so I have high hopes for A Necessary Evil. And it’s years since I last read And Then There Were None so that should be fab! 😀


  2. Yay, another tennis fan! I’m a huge Andy Murray fan myself.

    I’ve heard really good things about Before the Fall! And I love And Then There Were None.


    • I love Andy too, especially since we’re both Scots, but I loved Rafa first and I’m loyal… 😉 Good to see them both getting through to the semis though!

      I’m looking forward to Before the Fall, and I love And Then There Were None too – plus I love Hugh Fraser as a narrator – should be fab! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re a Scottish Nadal supporter??? 😮 You must be the only one of your kind, haha! I’m American but I started supporting Murray years ago for a totally dumb reason – my dad is a tennis instructor, and at the time he also played with and sold the exact same racquet that Murray used, so we wanted Murray to do well so his racquet sales would go up. That was like… a decade ago though and now I’m just really invested in him.

        But anyway, I do like Nadal too. Yes, the semis are looking great!!! Especially because I am not a Djokovic fan at all.


        • Haha! I know! I’m surprised I haven’t been expelled from the country! Secretly I’m always quite happy when one of them gets knocked out so I can wholeheartedly support the other one, and watching them play each other in finals is a nightmare! The racquet sales is a good reason – better than my reason for liking Rafa… his biceps, basically. 😉

          I do quite like Djokovic, but not to the same degree as the other two, so I’m happy withe the way it’s worked out so far. Vamos, Rafa! C’mon, Andy!

          Liked by 1 person

          • I know you mean, I used to be a big Federer fan too so I hated when he and Murray played each other. Lately I’m just #teammurray though.

            If biceps aren’t a valid reason to support someone, I don’t know what is tbh!!!


            • I had to go to work partway through it so I only watched through the third set, so thankfully I got to leave before Andy started falling apart. Oh well… fingers crossed for Wimbledon. Now vamos Rafa!!!


            • So pleased Rafa won! Had a little tear in my eye when he got the trophy. It wasn’t the best match, though – poor Stan! Roll on, Wimbledon!


  3. I think And Then There Was None is my favourite of all the Agatha Christie books and of course I’m delighted you finally have a copy of Harriet Said – I really enjoyed Heavenly Creatures too!


    • It’s ages since I read And Then There Were None – I loved it, but I think I prefer the Miss Marple books more. But I’ve seen so many people say this one’s their favourite, I thought I should double-check! I’m looking forward to Harriet Said and also to watching the film again too… tennis permitting! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ooh, these all sound delightful (though everything pales when pictured beside Rafa, ha!) Where was I? Oh, yes, the books. I loved the Christie and probably should read it again. A Necessary Evil sounds intriguing, and I voted for Before the Fall. So yes, great choices here!


    • Hahaha! Yup, Rafa can be very distracting! 😉 It’s ages since I last read And Then There Were None, so it should be fun especially with Hugh Fraser narrating. I’m looking forward to the other two too – especially A Necessary Evil since I loved his last book so much. Now all I have to do is try to find time between matches to do a bit of reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I was surprised to see Before the Fall was the winner. I’ve seen some ‘meh’ reviews of it, but also some good ones. For your sake, I hope it’s good. But for the rest of us it might be more fun if you don’t like it. 😉


    • It does, though the reviews I’ve seen have been quite mixed. But I’m looking forward to finding out for myself. It’s far too long since I last read And Then There Were None – I’m actually not sure I can remember whodunit. And listening to the audiobook means I don’t have to worry about chocolate smears on the pages… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, I know what your distraction is (of course, you *did* provide a photo….). I must say, Rafa has more tics than all the Major League Baseball managers combined! Do love his play though.

    Now for the books. Eek, 197. Really only a couple more, right?

    A Necessary Evil is most tempting….


    • The first in the series was great and I thought the setting felt brilliantly authentic – for once, it’s set in a period I know something about. So I’m really looking forward to this one… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You didn’t get me this week, ha ha! I read And Then There Were None last year and enjoyed it. Not my favorite Christie (so far) but very entertaining.

    Thank goodness too, because Naomi at Consumed By Ink just pushed me back over 400 on the Goodreads TBR! And I was doing so well lately… I’d gotten down to 397…sigh… 😉


    • I think I’ve added four to my wishlist while I’ve been reading posts today! Not to mention the two that arrived in the mail this morning! Haha! If only someone would market self-control… 😉 I’ll get you next week for sure…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, yes! I’ve taken to looking at page numbers before clicking the buy button. I wish NetGalley would tell us how long a book is – I’ve ended up with some monsters from them and they tend to get left to one side… I’m looking forward to Beryl – there’s been a little spate of reviews of her books recently, mostly good!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I am glad to see Before The Fall won. I voted it although I am yet to read it. However, it really does have great reviews so I hope that you will enjoy it. Have a wonderful week. Happy reading 🙂


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