TBR Thursday 186…

Episode 186

My 2019 reading has got off to a start so slow I feel I might have to learn to read backwards. Fortunately my book acquisition rate seems to have slowed too, so the end result is an increase of just 1 to 227.

Here are a few that I will get to… sometime!


Courtesy of Quercus via NetGalley. Gorgeous cover, isn’t it? The setting of colonial Malaysia will fit beautifully in my Around the World challenge. Plus I think the blurb is wonderfully enticing…

The Blurb says: In 1930s colonial Malaya, a dissolute British doctor receives a surprise gift of an eleven-year-old Chinese houseboy. Sent as a bequest from an old friend, young Ren has a mission: to find his dead master’s severed finger and reunite it with his body. Ren has forty-nine days, or else his master’s soul will roam the earth forever.
Ji Lin, an apprentice dressmaker, moonlights as a dancehall girl to pay her mother’s debts. One night, Ji Lin’s dance partner leaves her with a gruesome souvenir that leads her on a crooked, dark trail.

As time runs out for Ren’s mission, a series of unexplained deaths occur amid rumours of tigers who turn into men. In their journey to keep a promise and discover the truth, Ren and Ji Lin’s paths will cross in ways they will never forget.

Captivating and lushly written, The Night Tiger explores the rich world of servants and masters, ancient superstition and modern ambition, sibling rivalry and unexpected love. Woven through with Chinese folklore and a tantalizing mystery, this novel is a page-turner of the highest order.

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Sir Arthur & Mr Holmes

Anyone who visits my blog will be well aware of my never-ending love affair with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This re-read will also tie in with the Around the World challenge in a sneaky kind of way which I will explain when I review it… 

The Blurb says: When a beautiful young woman is sent a letter inviting her to a sinister assignation, she immediately seeks the advice of the consulting detective Sherlock Holmes.

For this is not the first mysterious item Mary Marston has received in the post. Every year for the last six years an anonymous benefactor has sent her a large lustrous pearl. Now it appears the sender of the pearls would like to meet her to right a wrong.

But when Sherlock Holmes and his faithful sidekick Watson, aiding Miss Marston, attend the assignation, they embark on a dark and mysterious adventure involving a one-legged ruffian, some hidden treasure, deadly poison darts and a thrilling race along the River Thames.

* * * * *

Short Stories

I’m ashamed to say I won this book in a giveaway from the lovely Anne at ivereadthis.com back at the beginning of 2017, and I’m only now getting around to reading it. And it’s another that will take me to foreign climes for my Around the World challenge, this time to look at the life of the ex-pat in Hong Kong…

The Blurb says: These stories follow a kind of life cycle of expatriates in Hong Kong, a place often called the most thrilling city on the planet. They share the feeling of being between two worlds, the experience of being neither here nor there and trying to find a way to fill that space. From the hedonistic first days in How To Pick Up A Maid in Statue Square, as Fast Eddy instructs on how best to approach Filipina maids on their rest day; through the muted middle in Rephrasing Kate, as Kate encounters a charismatic bad boy and is forced to admit her infidelities; to the inevitable end in The Dirty Duck, as Philip realizes his inability to commit and resolves to return home to Australia; Hong Kong alters them all with its frenetic mixture of capitalism and exoticism. Characters exist between the worlds they once knew and this place which now holds them in its spell and shapes them to its ends. Their stories explore how they cope with this space where loneliness and alienation intersect, a place where insomniac young bankers forfeit their ambition while chasing deviant sexual encounters, or consume themselves with climbing the corporate ladder. It is a world where passive domestics live and work for the money they can send home, while their keepers assemble poolside to engage in conversations aroused by the expats’ desire to connect to others who share their fates. Always, of course, there is The Globe, a favourite watering hole where, when night falls, they meet to tell their stories.

* * * * *

Vintage Crime

Courtesy of the Collins Crime Club. I suspect the victim was stampeded to death by book-bloggers who’d come to the end of their 2018 book-buying bans…

The Blurb says: Book 50 in the Detective Club Crime Classics series is Carolyn Wells’ Murder in the Bookshop, a classic locked room murder mystery which will have a special resonance for lovers and collectors of Golden Age detective fiction. Includes a bonus murder story: The Shakespeare Title-Page Mystery.

When Philip Balfour is found murdered in a New York bookstore, the number one suspect is his librarian, a man who has coveted Balfour’s widow. But when the police discover that a book worth $100,000 is missing, detective Fleming Stone realises that some people covet rare volumes even more highly than other men’s wives, and embarks on one of his most dangerous investigations.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads.

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

43 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 186…

  1. I’m tempted by Murder in the Bookshop – coveting books, how outrageous! Is the Holmes book The Sign of Four? I listened to that some years ago and enjoyed it – Mary Morstan did marry Dr Watson I think. I haven’t read many Sherlock Holmes books – maybe this year …

    • I’ve only read a few of the Collins Crime Club books so far, but I’m growing to love them as much as the BL crime classics, so fingers crossed! Oh, yes, it is The Sign of Four – I should have realised the print was too small to read the title. She did indeed marry him, and there are some quite soppy bits in this book as Watson falls in love… 😀

  2. I’d like to read “Murder in the Bookshop” because I enjoy crime-fiction (and other novels) set in and around books, bookshops and libraries. My reading this year has got off to a reasonably good start: I have read one short novel and I’m more than halfway through two long fiction. Besides, I also plan to read more short stories and poetry in 2019.

    • Murder in the Bookshop does sound like fun and so far I’ve enjoyed most of these Collins Crime Club books though I’ve only read a few, so fingers crossed! I always start the year by reading one of Dickens’ novels, which I love, but they’re so long it usually means I’m behind before the year really gets underway. But I’ve got quite a good mix of longer and shorter books planned for this year, I think.

    • Hahaha! Either the publishers are all still in holiday mode or they’ve all fallen out with me, I think! I’m scared what might happen next week when they get back in their stride… 😉

  3. They are all really tempting, FictionFan! I think I’d want to read all of them at some point. But I’m most tempted by Murder in the Bookshop. The setting is a draw right away for me. And some of those vintage crime novels really are fantastic. I’ll be especially interested in what you think of that one.

    • I’m looking forward to Murder in the Bookshop. The author is one of the ones Martin Edwards lists in his 100 novels, though not for this book. Plus these Collins Crime Club books are lovely to read just as physical things – perfect size, font and so on. (Don’t tell my Kindle I said that though – it’ll get jealous!)

  4. Murder in the Bookshop! I read The Sign of Four (or The Sign of the Four as it is sometimes called).
    Congrats on only rising by one. You know the drill: eat a piece of chocolate.

    • Murder in the Bookshop looks like fun! It’s years since I last read The Sign of (the) Four – I never know myself which title to go by – but I love it, especially when Watson goes all soppy about Mary… 😉

      Haha – thank you, I will! 😀

  5. Two out of four sound amazing — you’re on a roll, FF!! That Sherlock Holmes and the Bookshop murder just might be right up my alley. Drat, as if I need more to read (well, yes, of course, I do — thanks ever so!!)

    • The Sherlock Holmes long stories are always great fun, either first time round or as a re-read, and Murder in the Bookshop sounds like it should be fun – good choices! Haha – I’m glad I’ve finally managed to tempt you – I thought I was losing my touch… 😉

  6. The Night Tiger and How to Pick Up a Maid both sound fascinating. I just finished reading a collection of Conan Doyle stories and was reminded how much I enjoy his writing.

    • They do, don’t they? And the early reviews of The Night Tiger have been mostly very positive – the other one doesn’t seem to have had many reviews yet. I love Conan Doyle’s writing – it’s so effortless to read and he’s a master of the art of just telling a great story. 😀

      • The science fiction stories are delightful – what if the world was a living creature? what if there are creatures floating around in space? And the mysteries are just so well crafted.

        • I love those early science fiction stories, from him and others. They were so imaginative and never allowed themselves to get bogged down in “real” science, as tends to happen in contemporary sci-fi.

  7. Murder in the Book Shop and How to Pick up a Maid sounds very tempting. I think I’m going to pick up one short story collection a month now because I just finished one and enjoyed it, it’s forcing me to take one story at a time and absorb it. I find that harder to do if they are really good and I want to keep going.

    • They do, don’t they? I always claim I don’t enjoy short stories, but actually I’ve been reading more and more of them over the last few years, so I really have to stop saying that! I quite like when a whole collection is based round one theme, looking at it from different angles, which I think is what How to Pick Up a Maid does… 😀

        • I tend to go overboard with horror and Christmas collections every year, so actual fiction short stories get pushed to the side for a few months. But I’m gearing up now for spring and lighter nights (yeah, I know, wishful thinking… 😉 )

  8. I have a NetGalley copy of The Night Tiger too so should be reading it soon. I hope you enjoy the other three books as well. I haven’t read or re-read any Sherlock Holmes for years!

    • The Night Tiger looks intriguing and most early reviewers seem to have loved it, so fingers crossed we do too! I never go too long without a fix of Holmes, or at the very least, a dose of ACD in some form or other – he’s been on my TBR consistently since I was ten… 😀

  9. Brilliant and I was at the front of that queue of book bloggers who has vowed never to curtail her book buying ever again – stoopid resolutions!
    A good mix and it looks like you are going to be travelling to some interesting places – I read a very good review of The Night Tiger yesterday but did resist getting a copy (I seem to have quite a backlog of NetGalley books to review at the moment!)

    • Hahaha – funnily enough, I envisaged you leading the hordes!! Bookshops in Jersey have probably run out of stock by now… 😂 And I was so impressed by your restraint all last year, too…

      The Night Tiger is a bit out of my usual kind of thing, but the blurb intrigued me and I really must read some new releases this year before I become totally stuck in the Golden Age!

  10. I’m tempted by all of these but will wait for your reviews before adding any to my own list. No matter the reason, an addition of only one book to your list seems like a win! Have some celebratory chocolate 😀

  11. Oh gosh I forgot about that contest!!! Well i do hope you like it, but time will tell 🙂

    The Night Tiger looks fabulous, and how great that you can check two more books off your around the world challenge…

    • I still think it looks intriguing, and I haven’t “been” to Hong Kong yet, so it will fit in brilliantly! 😀 Yes, I love when a new release ties in with the Around the World challenge – gets me out of my usual rut…

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