TBR Thursday 160…

Episode 160…

Oops! The dramatic falls of the last few weeks suddenly went into reverse this week – the TBR is up 1 to 220! It’s just a blip, though – I’m sure it will all be fine again next week…

(Tip: apparently, this isn’t a good way to uproot the stump of a tree…)

After what seems like an awful lot of heavyweight books recently, I’m looking forward to some lighter reads (aka murders) over the summer months. Here are a few to start me off in the right direction…

True Crime on Audio

I have a feeling someone recommended this to me or I was inspired by a review long ago, but I don’t seem to have kept a note of who or where. It really appeals, anyway, and listening to the sample, the narrator, William Dufris, sounds great…

The Blurb says: In Long Island, a farmer found a duck pond turned red with blood. On the Lower East Side, two boys playing at a pier discovered a floating human torso wrapped tightly in oilcloth. Blueberry pickers near Harlem stumbled upon neatly severed limbs in an overgrown ditch. Clues to a horrifying crime were turning up all over New York, but the police were baffled: There were 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 perplexing murder. Seized upon by battling media moguls Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, the case became a publicity circus. Re-creations 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 – an anxious cop, a cub reporter, and an eccentric professor – all raced to solve the crime. What emerged was a sensational love triangle and an even more sensational trial: an unprecedented capital case hingeing on circumstantial evidence around a victim that the police couldn’t identify with certainty – and that the defense claimed wasn’t even dead.

The Murder of the Century is a rollicking tale – a rich evocation of America during the Gilded Age and a colorful re-creation of the tabloid wars that have dominated media to this day.

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Crime

Courtesy of Urbane Publications. I thoroughly enjoyed The Rock, the first book in Robert Daws’ Sullivan and Broderick series set on Gibraltar, so I’m looking forward to reading this second one…

The Blurb says: In London, the British Government has declassified a large number of top secret files regarding British Military Intelligence operations during World War Two. One file, concerning espionage operations on Gibraltar, has been smuggled out of the U.K. to Spain. It contains information that will draw Sullivan and Broderick into the dark and treacherous world of wartime Gibraltar. A place where saboteurs and espionage plots abounded. Where double and triple agents from Britain, Germany and Spain were at war in a treacherous and deadly game of undercover operations.

As the summer heat reaches its zenith in Gibraltar Town, a film crew has arrived on the Rock to shoot a movie about one of the most enigmatic and legendary spies of the war years – ‘The Queen of Diamonds’. Starring Hollywood A-lister Julia Novacs and produced by local born film maker, Gabriel Isolde, it is the talk of the Rock.

It is only a matter of time before past and present collide and a dangerous battle begins to conceal the truth about the Rock’s poisonous wartime history. Detectives Sullivan and Broderick become caught in a tangled web of intrigue and murder that will once again test their skills and working relationship to the very limit.

* * * * *

Crime

Courtesy of Amazon Vine. It’s set in Cornwall, it claims it’s perfect for fans of Peter May, the blurb sounds like fun and I love the cover. And that’s as much as I know about it…

The Blurb says: He was running from his past. She was running from her future. Sometimes helping a stranger is the last thing you should do . . .

The Cornish village of St Petroc is the sort of place where people come to hide. Tom Killgannon is one such person. An ex-undercover cop, Tom is in the Witness Protection Programme hiding from some very violent people and St Petroc’s offers him a chance to live a safe and quiet life. Until he meets Lila.

Lila is a seventeen-year-old runaway. When she breaks into Tom’s house she takes more than just his money. His wallet holds everything about his new identity. He also knows that Lila is in danger from the travellers’ commune she’s been living at. Something sinister has been going on there and Lila knows more than she realises. But to find her he risks not only giving away his location to the gangs he’s in hiding from, but also becoming a target for whoever is hunting Lila.

* * * * *

Crime

Courtesy of Random House, Vintage, via NetGalley. My resistance to contemporary psychological thrillers has been worn down by the relentless drip-drip of glowing reviews for Ruth Ware from you enablers over the last year or two, so it better be good or on your heads be it!

The Blurb says: When Harriet Westaway receives an unexpected letter telling her she’s inherited a substantial bequest from her Cornish grandmother, it seems like the answer to her prayers. She owes money to a loan shark and the threats are getting increasingly aggressive: she needs to get her hands on some cash fast.

There’s just one problem – Hal’s real grandparents died more than twenty years ago. The letter has been sent to the wrong person. But Hal knows that the cold-reading techniques she’s honed as a seaside fortune teller could help her con her way to getting the money. If anyone has the skills to turn up at a stranger’s funeral and claim a bequest they’re not entitled to, it’s her.

Hal makes a choice that will change her life for ever. But once she embarks on her deception, there is no going back. She must keep going or risk losing everything, even her life…

* * * * *

NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads, Audible UK or Amazon UK.

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

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48 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 160…

  1. Ah, some excellent murders to lighten the mood – just what we need! The Murder Of The Century sounds great, I’m looking forward to hearing about this one. I like everything from the grisly murdering bit to the odd trio doing the investigating. Everything about it sounds great. Suffice to say, my hopes are well and truly up 🙂
    Good to see our friend Daws has another one out, I hope it is as good as the first one. Everyone loves a bit of spy action so sounds promising.
    The last two don’t inspire me much, but I live in hope of being proved wrong. Get reading, FF!

    • I love the sound of The Murder of the Century – if only I can finally finish listening to my last Russian history book which seems to be taking forever! I think Daws’ third is coming out soon too – there should be a law that authors can only publish one book every five years, at least until I catch up! Which I don’t think is going to happen any time soon…

    • Hahaha – I always think that all these vicarious murders probably make me less likely to turn into a psychopathic serial killer… that’s the theory, anyway! 😉 I hope we both enjoy our introduction to Ware – I’ve seen so many people rave about her, I couldn’t resist any longer…

  2. Murder of the Century and perhaps the Poisoned Rock though the book blurb of the latter has enough crime thriller descriptors (“saboteurs and espionage plots abounded’: “double and triple agents”; “treacherous and deadly game of undercover operations”) to choke a horse.

    • Haha – yes, it does sound a bit as if they’ve thrown in the kitchen sink! But I’m hoping it’ll be as enjoyable as the last one, and The Murder of the Century sounds great! 😀

    • I’ve been so ‘off’ contemporary crime recently, I’m not sure how I’ll get on with the Ruth Ware, but I couldn’t resist – the reviews, the blurb and the title all intrigued me, so fingers crossed! Hope you enjoy this one more too…

  3. You’ve got some good books there, FictionFan! With so much lovely crime fiction out there, how could you possibly resist? The Ware looks especially appealing (I must do a spotlight on her work some time), but they all look good.

    • They do look good, don’t they? I looked at my upcoming reading list and realised nearly everything on it was either a classic or vintage crime, so decided I had to come back into the present at some point, so why not now?! 😉

  4. Ah, lots of crime and mystery. I just finished the Ruth Ware book. Review won’t be up for a few weeks as I’m actually ahead in that regard. That’s what comes when you take a break. Ha! I’m intrigued by the comparison to Peter May for The Old Religion, so that would be the one that tempts me most. Enjoy!

    • Oh, you tease! Not even a tiny hint as to what you thought of the Ruth Ware book! Haha – I’m back to my usual state of desperately writing reviews the night before I post them, so I think it’s time for me to take a break very soon, especially with tennis season getting properly underway. The Old Religion sounds good and it’s a while since I “discovered” a new author, so I have my fingers crossed…

  5. All of these sound good – oh, Dear! I like a good murder as light reading as I sunbathe (or more likely, avoid the rain).

  6. Ruth Ware sounds good, I’d never heard of her. I read lots of crime years ago and then put it to the back of my mind. Since I started this blogging business it seems murder is everywhere!

    • Haha – I know, the blogosphere is obsessed by murder! I still read loads of crime, but I’ve been ‘off’ a lot of the contemporary domestic thriller stuff for ages, and have been filling in with vintage crime. But I suddenly felt a need to get back in touch with the present – hoping Ruth Ware might do that for me!

    • Ah, good to get another vote for Ruth Ware! I suspect you’ll enjoy the Daws’ books when you get a chance to read them – the first one was excellent, really well done, so I have quite high expectations now for this one… and the first one is quite short too, so should be easier to fit in sometime before September!

    • Ah, you’re probably one of the guilty parties who tempted me into this one then! Both the others sounded appealing, but actually the blurb of this one is the one I liked most, so I’ve given up resisting. Yes, I love the sound of The Murder of the Century, and I’m sure I’ve seen at least one glowing review of it. 😀

  7. These all sound interesting, but I refuse to add any of them to my TBR until I’ve read your reviews, ha! Nothing like a series of interesting crimes reads to pass the long, hot summer (and our temps are already feeling summerish — we skipped right over Spring, doggone it!)

    • Hahaha! The pressure, the pressure! Hopefully they’ll all be goodies, but we shall see. Yes, I always like lighter reads over the summer – easier to fit around tennis. We’re having a sudden burst of good weather too – I’m not used to it! I might need to buy a parasol… 😉

  8. My sympathy for the sudden upward momentum on the TBR remember when we talked about joining the 200 club – oh how we laughed!! 😉
    Unsurprisingly I have a copy of The Death of Mrs Westaway already however with my combined joy at being able to listen to audio and true crime I’m tempted by Crime of the Century and also by The Old Religion this week and The Poisoned Rock doesn’t sound bad either although I’d need to read the first one beforehand.

    • Hahaha – we did, didn’t we? I’m sure I’ll get control of mine soon though… 😉

      Haha – you’re definitely one of the chief guilty parties who destroyed my resistance over the Ruth Ware, so I’m holding you responsible! The other three all sound good, and I listened to the audio sample of The Murder of the Century and the narrator’s voice and American accent sound just right for the story. I’m really hoping The Old Religion will be good – it’s a while since I took a punt on a crime author I know nothing about…

    • The problem is that it’s all white collar fraud, conspiracies and espionage thrillers in the US at the moment. You need some good old-fashioned serial killers, axe-murderers and obscure poisons to break things up…

      • OK, so we need to sprinkle a little Shakespeare in with all of this to elevate the nature of our current political situation? Our movie industry has all of the serial killers and axe-murderers covered…and I think England has cornered the market on obscure poisons (aka neurotoxins).

        • Perhaps we should just go for all-out dystopia and release a virus lethal to everyone who doesn’t enjoy reading good fiction – that should definitely get rid of several of the worst offenders…

  9. The Peter May reference and Cornish setting draw me to The Old Religion and I await with interest your review on the Ruth Ware story. I’m enjoying the Autumn sun (when it’s here) as temperatures drop and Winter approaches. Enjoy your Spring days 🙂

    • I do hope The Old Religion is good – it really appeals to me – setting, blurb, cover! I’m intrigued by Ruth Ware – all sorts of people seem to love her. We’ll see if I’m one of them! We seem to have leapt straight to summer – we’re having a heatwave! But knowing Scotland, it’ll be winter again next week… 😉

  10. You got me at ‘Cornwall’ TWICE!!! 😆😆 That’s my tbr up by two. (Maybe you could give them one star reviews and I can take them off the list again? 😉)

    • Ha – oh yes! I hadn’t even spotted that two of them are set in Cornwall! It’ll feel almost like a holiday! Though fortunately any time I’ve visited Cornwall I’ve managed to avoid getting involved in murders… 😉

    • Hahaha – poor guy! (Gotta be a man in there, don’t you think?) But at least he has the comfort of knowing millions of people all over the world can watch his humiliation… 😀

  11. I’m just finishing up the first Daws book which I’m reading on the basis of your review (thank you!) and have already purchased The Poisoned Rock.

    I’m kind of on the fence about Ware but this one sounds a bit more of interest to me. I finished The Woman in Cabin 10 just before starting the Daws book and I had read In a Dark, Dark Wood earlier. For now, I’m going to stick with library borrows for her even if the wait is three months. I’m #56 in line for The Lying Game. Mrs. Westaway is not yet available here so it will be a few days before I can put a hold on it. I’ll probably be #156.

    The Martyn Waites sounds like one I absolutely NEED now but not yet available in the US. No digital available for pre-order either. I’ll put a watch on it.

    • Oh, I’m so glad you enjoyed the Daws book – I’m really looking forward to The Poisoned Rock and I believe he has a third one coming out over the summer.

      Interesting – most people seem to have loved the earlier Ruth Wares but I’ve seen a few that are more on the fence about her too. The blurb of Mrs Westaway appealed to me more than the earlier ones, so I decided to jump in – could go either way, I feel. Haha – libraries really need to buy more copies… 😉

      It sounds great, doesn’t it? I’m the same – want to read it right now! I hope it lives up to expectations… 😀

  12. ok first of all, that gif is priceless. Where did you find it?
    Secondly, the true crime book looks amazing (even in audio!). Can’t wait to see your review on that, there’s something about murders in the 1800s that I find fascinating. Have you watched The Alienist on Netflix? I can’t remember if you have Netflix or not, but I think you would like this show.

    • Haha – I spend at to much time googling “funny disaster gifs” these days – somehow other people’s disasters cheer me up! 😉 I think the true crime book looks great too – I’m going through a little spate of them at the moment. No, I don’t do Netflix since I rarely watch TV or films these days, and being Netflix I don’t suppose it’s likely to turn up on a cable channel any time soon…

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