TBR Thursday 145…

Episode 145…

OK, well, the TBR has increased by 2 this week to 216. But I’m pretty sure the underlying trend is down. It’s simply all depends on how you look at it…

Here are the next ones that will add to the massive reduction…


This book was shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel (2017). Our resident crime expert Margot Kinberg from Confessions of a Mystery Novelist was on the award panel and spotlighted each of the nominees on her fine blog. This was the book that appealed to me most, but there’s no sign of a UK publication date for it yet. After I bemoaned this fact, Margot very kindly sent me her own copy – thank you, Margot! This will take me to New Zealand for the Around the World in 80 Books Challenge

The Blurb says: When a woman’s body is discovered frozen in the ice of a river near the alpine resort of Queenstown, Detective Sergeant Malcolm Buchan faces both a mystery and a moral dilemma. The identity of the nude woman is critical to the motives and manner of her murder, and Buchan is personally involved. So are a number of locals, from ski bums to multi-millionaire businessman. Newly appointed to head CIB in the Southern Lakes district, Buchan hunts the killer through the entanglements of corruption and abuse that lie barely below the surface of the tourist towns.

The assistance of a woman traffic sergeant is critical to the hunt but she brings her own dilemmas. The community is practised at keeping its secrets, and finding the truth comes at a price.

* * * * *

Classic Fiction

To celebrate the centenary of Muriel Spark’s birth, time to re-read this, perhaps her best-known novel. It’s from my Classics Club list, and will also be a great excuse to watch the wonderful film again…

The Blurb says: At the staid Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh, Scotland, teacher extraordinaire Miss Jean Brodie is unmistakably, and outspokenly, in her prime. She is passionate in the application of her unorthodox teaching methods and strives to bring out the best in each one of her students. Determined to instill in them independence, passion, and ambition, Miss Brodie advises them, “Safety does not come first. Goodness, Truth, and Beauty come first. Follow me.” And they do–but one of them will betray her.

* * * * *

Vintage Crime

Courtesy of Poisoned Pen Press via NetGalley. Another anthology of vintage crime short stories from the great combo of the British Library and Martin Edwards. This time the focus is on early “police procedurals”…

The Blurb says: In classic British crime fiction, dazzling detective work is often the province of a brilliant amateur – whereas the humble police detective cuts a hapless figure. The twelve stories collected here strike a blow for the professionals, with teasing mysteries to challenge hard-working police officers’ persistence and scrupulous attention to detail. As in his previous anthologies for the British Library Crime Classics series, Martin Edwards introduces readers to fascinating neglected gems of British crime writing as well as uncovering lesser-known stories by the great novelists of the golden age.

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Fiction on Audio

I tried listening to this a couple of years ago but failed. It wasn’t that I wasn’t enjoying the book – I was simply struggling to concentrate on the audio format. However, I’ve been training myself to listen to audiobooks since then, so time to give this one another chance. It might also count towards the Around the World in 80 Books Challenge… 

The Blurb says: There are six homesteads on Blackåsen Mountain. A day’s journey away lies the empty town. It comes to life just once, in winter, when the church summons her people through the snows. Then even the oldest enemies will gather.

But now it is summer, and new settlers are come. It is their two young daughters who find the dead man not half an hour’s walk from their cottage. The father is away. And whether stubborn or stupid or scared for her girls, the mother will not let it rest.

To the wife who is not concerned when her husband does not come home for three days to the man who laughs when he hears his brother is dead to the priest who doesn’t care, she asks and asks her questions, digging at the secrets of the mountain. They say a wolf made those wounds. But what wild animal cuts a body so clean?

* * * * *

NB All blurbs taken from Goodreads or Audible.

* * * * *

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

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64 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 145…

  1. Well, obviously I’ve got to get The Long Arm Of The Law. When I saw it, my eyes were almost as wide as the lovely kit-cat’s at the top! I’m not looking at any of the others… absolutely not… 😉

  2. Thank you for the kind mention, FictionFan. I really do hope you’ll enjoy The Ice Shroud, even if it did add to your TBR. Well, no matter – you’ll have them all read next week, right? Right? 😉 I really do like the look of The Long Arm of the Law. And, with Martin Edwards at the helm, you really can’t go wrong, can you?

    • I magnanimously forgive you for adding to my TBR on this occasion. 😉 I’m looking forward to reading it – I don’t think I’ve ever read a crime novel set in NZ before. Yes, I’m sure the TBR will drop next week… so long as Martin Edwards stops sending vintage crime out into the world! I wonder if I could bribe him…

      • 😆 I feel so much better now you’ve chosen to forgive me! 😉

        As to Martin Edwards, I doubt he could stop sharing vintage crime if he wanted. He’s that knowledgeable and passionate about the topic. We just have to be vigilant 😉

        • 😆 That’s good – guilt is such a terrible feeling… 😉

          Yes, he really ought to consider that his scheme might have a fatal flaw in that we’re all learning so many tips for bumping people off… 😈

  3. You know what, I’m actually going to count my (erm, physical) TBR. Watch this space … gosh, 67. So there very much shouldn’t be anything that’s on this shelf still there at the end of the year … but I bet there is!

    • Ooh, I had to go off and count myself – I lump all my Kindle and physical books in together on the TBR list so had no idea. Surprisingly only 32 of my 216 are physical books – thank goodness! I can’t even imagine how I could fit another couple of hundred real books into my house, which already looks like the (badly organised) warehouse of a second-hand bookshop… 😉

    • It’s very good from what I remember – it’s years since I read it. And it’s short – always a bonus amid all the great chunksters we stick on our Classics Club lists!

      Thanks for popping in and commenting. 😀

  4. I’d never thought of training myself to listen to some audio books, but you’re right; I did without thinking about it. For instance, I can’t listen when I’m following a recipe or if I see a TV that’s on–or when I’m trying to cross traffic! I listen best in the dark in bed when I’m not totally sleepy.

    • I can’t listen to them in the dark or with my eyes closed – I instantly fall asleep! I can do simple things like wash dishes, but nothing that requires proper thought. I find I have to have something for my eyes to look at or I get distracted, so I’ve been watching some of the relaxation videos on youtube with the sound off. It’s fun trying to find one that matches the story – crashing waves for Treasure Island, etc… 🙂

    • It’s years since I read the book – decades, in fact! But I rewatched the film just a few months ago – it’s so good! Of course, reading the book will be a good excuse to watch it again…

    • It looks good, doesn’t it? I haven’t read any crime fiction set in NZ either – in fact, the only book form there I can remember reading at all was a collection of short stories a few years back. Armchair travelling – can’t beat it!

    • I read it many years ago, but really know the story better from the film which I’ve watched several times over the years. I’m looking forward to refreshing my memory of the original. Hope we both enjoy it! 😀

  5. sorry fingers ran away without me meaning to send that comment without finishing it!! I wanted to add that the other books are very tempting. I’ve given up thinking about when I’m going to read all my TBRs. 🙂

    • I’ve only read it once, I think, and that was way back sometime in the dark ages so I’m looking forward to a refresher. I’ve watched the film several times though – great stuff! Yes, they look like a good bunch, don’t they? I’m sure my TBR will start to drop dramatically any time now… 😉

    • It looks good, doesn’t it? One of the downsides about blogging is when you hear about interesting books published elsewhere that either don’t show up over here or are set at ridiculously high prices. Aus/NZ and Canada seem to be the worst for it, I think…

  6. Ha, finally a book I’ve already read! I hope you enjoy Wolf Winter; I think it’s a great choice for the Around the World challenge, because the sense of place is very strong. I can’t wait until your review of Muriel Spark. I want to read and like her, but my first attempt failed. I’m sure you will correct my false impression of her. 🙂

    • Oh good! I must admit I do still have a good memory of the descriptions of place in Wolf Winter from my first attempt to read it, even though I don’t remember the story much at all. Jean Brodie is the only Muriel Spark I’ve read, shamefully, since she’s one of Scotland’s foremost writers of the 20th century! I’m hoping I might persuade myself to read more…

  7. I haven’t read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie either — how did I miss that one?? Perhaps I ought to go back and remedy that. Sigh. And here, I thought I was making inroads on my TBR. There’s just no stopping the bloat, is there?!

    • Ha! It’s impossible to read them all but it’s quite fun trying… 😉 At least The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is short! But I’m terrified it’ll make me want to read all her other books…

  8. Oh is your TBR still increasing? What a surprise.
    Now because someone, mentioning no names, has me endlessly looking at classics I might like to read I’m very taken with The Prime of Miss Brodie which I haven’t read and like the sound of. I also, of course, am quite taken with The Long Arm of the Law but since another of Poison Pen’s titles has fallen onto my own TBR just this week, I need to read that one first.

  9. I’ve sadly never read Muriel Spark, another embarrassing hole in my reading life! She is one I really do mean to try. But I’m trying not to add anything else to my TBR for a week… er, a few days… okay, at least 24 hours, alright? 😉

    • I’ve only read Jean Brodie, which is shameful considering she’s one of the major Scottish writers of the twentieth century! I’m surprised they haven’t exiled me! Haha – OK, 24 hours (I’ll get you when I review it though… 😉 )

  10. I (mostly) loved Wolf Winter, and loved much more the prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which I’ve read at least a couple of times. But congratulation on your pile only going up a little – that’s almost the same as falling dramatically, really, isn’t it. And of course, the fact that the 2 titles on your list here which would have been the ones to tempt me but are the ones I have already read and reviewed means YOU are not adding to MY TBR at this point. Pulls my smuggest smug face, Which is almost as weird as the squashed face cat’s. Is it a Scottish Fold? I must admit to being a bit disturbed by cats with squashed in noses, they always make me think breathing will be problematic. for them. I like cats to have strong noses, they are so nice to be bumped and butted imperiously by

    • I think it was on your recommendation that I got Wolf Winter, way back when, so I’m hoping to have better success with it this time round. If not, I shall probably indulge in the paper copy. It’s ages since I read Miss Jean, so I’m looking forward to that. Oh, yes, I think my TBR is definitely falling dramatically! It’s just a matter of interpreting the stats properly. Haha – isn’t the cat odd? I don’t know what breed it is, but I find it oddly scary. Agreed – I like Tommy’s pretty pink traditional nose much more, and Tuppence’s little black one. Though I wish they wouldn’t smear them over my specs quite so often…

  11. I’m glad you’re planning to retry Wolf Winter. That one’s on my to-read list, and I run into it a lot at the library. Books I run into a lot have a tendency to eventually end up at my house.
    I’ve never read Muriel Sparks, but really would like to!

    • I remember Wolf Winter got a lot of glowing reviews when it came out, and sounds my kind of thing. If I can’t get into the audiobook again this time, I’ll give in and acquire a paper copy…

      Jean Brodie is the only one I’ve read, which is shameful since she’s one of the major Scottish writers of last century. If I enjoy it as much this time, I really must read more…

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