TBR Thursday 239…

Episode 239

A special edition this week – every book mentioned is either written, translated or published by one of the many talented friends I’ve made in this strange but rather wonderful online world! As regulars know, I’m in the middle of the biggest reading/reviewing slump in the history of the universe, so I hope that Margot, Matt and Marina Sofia will understand that it may be a while before I review these since I want to wait till my usual bookish enthusiasm is back in proper working order. I’m looking forward to each of them, though – don’t they sound great?

Not so good for the TBR however – up 3 to 217! But who’s counting…?

Crime in Translation 1

Living Candles by Teodora Matei

Marina Sofia of Finding Time to Write has started a new translating and publishing venture with a few like-minded friends. Corylus Books aims to present “some of the great European crime fiction that wouldn’t normally make its way into English”, particularly “crime fiction with a social dimension”. This is one of the first off the press…

The Blurb says: The discovery of a woman close to death in a city basement sends Bucharest police officers Anton Iordan and Sorin Matache on a complex chase through the city as they seek to identify the victim. As they try to track down the would-be murderer, they find a macabre trail of missing women and they realise that this isn’t the first time the killer has struck. Iordan and Matache hit one dead end after another, until they decide they’ll have to take a chance that could prove deadly.

If you enjoy travelling the world virtually through your crime fiction, then Living Candles is the perfect book to convey the atmosphere of the Romanian urban environment. Or at least the murkier side of it: the blocks of flats where the neighbours all know each other’s business, the pensioners gossiping on the bench outside the entrances, the machismo impregnating the atmosphere so thickly, you could cut it with a knife.” Marina Sofia

* * * * *

Historical Fiction

Atlantic View by Matthew Geyer

I first met Matt virtually several years ago now when we both glowingly reviewed Colm Tóibín’s The Testament of Mary on Amazon US. An exchange of comments on each other’s reviews led me to discover that Matt had written his own novel, Strays, which I subsequently read and greatly enjoyed. Matt has recently started his own blog where he will be reviewing literary fiction as well as telling us about his own writing journey. This is his second novel, and I’m thrilled that he’s included a quote from my review of Strays on the back cover! 

The Blurb says: Set against the backdrop of the Obama presidential election, Atlantic View is the story of how Patrick Munchen loses his job, his wife and his way, only to discover an improbable new path with the support of his daughter, Megan. As the hope for change turns sour in the wake of another American election, the end of one way of life becomes the beginning of another.

* * * * *


A Matter of Motive by Margot Kinberg

Margot used to blog about crime fiction and has introduced me to a whole world of authors I didn’t know about over the years we’ve been blog buddies. Her blog is much missed, but if stopping blogging has given her more time for writing then I forgive her! Previously she has written four books starring her academic amateur detective, Joel Williams, the most recent being Downfall. This new one, though, is a departure from that series – a standalone.

The Blurb says: A man is dead in his car, slumped over the steering wheel. But who killed him? Ron Clemons is the last person you’d think would be murdered. His wife and son love him. His employees respect him. His business is doing well. His clients seek him out. But someone wanted him dead.The Clemons case is a golden opportunity for newly minted police detective Patricia Stanley to prove herself. It’s her first murder investigation and she wants to do well. But it’s not going to be easy. For one thing, she has plenty to learn about handling a murder. And nearly everyone involved in this one is hiding something. Patricia faces her own challenges, too, as the investigation brings back the murder of an old love.

* * * * *

Crime in Translation 2

Sword by Bogdan Teodorescu

A second selection from Corylus Books, and this one is translated by our very own Marina Sofia herself! The paper publication has been held up due to the ongoing situation with the pesky plague, but the Kindle version is available for pre-order and will be out on 8th May. Another excellent reason for having a Kindle…

The Blurb says: As a shadowy killer stalks the streets of Bucharest, seeking out victims from among the Roma minority, the police are at a loss to track down the murderer, who always dispatches in the same manner – hence the Sword nickname the media are quick to give to the killer. As panic starts to take hold and inter-racial tensions begin to reach boiling point, those in government and those who want to be try to manipulate the situation for their own ends.

A bestseller in Romania and France, Sword is a tumultuous political thriller by journalist and political analyst Bogdan Teodorescu – echoing much of the fears and tensions of today’s political landscape.

* * * * *

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

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

42 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 239…

  1. How exciting! I shall look forward to your eventual reviews of all of these. You’re not alone in this change of reading habits. Though I am about to finish a book today! 😲

    Liked by 1 person

    • Woohoo! I actually finished a couple this week too, but I’d been reading them both for weeks! And I have a huge list of books still to write reviews for, and I know I’ll have forgotten everything I wanted to say about them. Oh well! Hopefully we’ll get back to normal at some point… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Going by the blurbs they seem to have found some interesting titles for the first batch, but I do think there should be a law against everything that puts extra pressure on TBRs… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So happy, FictionFan, that you’ve included two of the Corylus books. I think that’s a great venture, and I wish them much success; I’m sure you’ll enjoy the reads. As for that Kinberg, well, I seriously have my doubts. I’ve heard some stories about her… 😉 (Seriously, thank you very much – it means a lot to me).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’ve heard things about that Kinberg woman too – but I’m sure it’s probably all fake news… 😉 Looking forward to reading it just as soon as my slump recedes! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A Matter of Motive is on its way to me here in Santa Fe via the Amazon.com dragon. I can’t read on Kindle, but will keep an eye out for both Corylus books in paperback, either there or on my new favorite site, http://www.bookshop.org, which shares profits on all sales with the buyer’s own selected independent bookstore (at least here in the US, not sure if it serves the UK . . . yet). They all look splendid, and I’m delighted to be in their company.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So many paper books have been held up because of the pandemic, and then no bookshops and libraries available for publicity tours and so on! The big Scottish crime writing festival has just been cancelled for this year. I must look at bookshop.org – I haven’t come across it before. Looking forward to reading Atlantic View, just as soon as my slump finally recedes! Pesky plague…!!


  4. Now, you’ve gone and done it, FF — an entire post of intriguing new books for me to check out! Best of all, they’re by names I’ve come to recognize from their comments here — best of luck to every last one of them!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the sound of all of these, especially the books in translation, as I would like to widen my crime fiction horizons. I love the way this community works, as it gives us all great opportunities to support each other. Lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a pity Margot’s blog doesn’t exist any more because she has an amazing knowledge of contemporary crime fiction from all over the world. My TBR is full of books that she tempted me with! The Corylus venture sounds very intriguing – Marina Sofia speaks about a million languages, so it seems a perfect fit for her. Yes, the book blogging community is very special – none of the horrors of so much of the rest of the online world… 😀


  6. What a fun way to take the edge off the increase in your TBR!

    All look interesting, but I’ve just added Margot’s book to my TBR. Years ago, when we both followed a mutual blogger/author, I added one of the Joel Williams books to my list… but when I couldn’t track down the others, it got lost in the shuffle. I enjoy a good standalone and look forward to reading it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I know, but I really must have words with them all about publishing all their books in the same month! 😉

      The Joel Williams books worked fine as standalones, and I never mind reading series out of order unless there’s a strong running storyline in the background but I know lots of readers prefer to start with book 1. But this new one sounds like an interesting departure – on the whole I prefer police procedurals to amateur detectives in contemporary crime fiction… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know – I’m thrilled to be on Matt’s blurb! 😀 They all look good, and the Corylus venture sounds as if it should throw up a lot of interesting stuff – I certainly haven’t read any crime fiction from Romania before!

      Liked by 1 person

    • My reading is slowly getting back to normal but I have such a huge backlog of reviews to write and no inspiration to actually write them! These do all sound great, though I must have words with them all about publishing all their books in the same month… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am SO impressed by Corylus books-what a cool idea! And i’d be shocked if these books didn’t sell like gangbusters, there seems to be a never-ending desire to read crime fiction, especially when it originated in a different language!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t it a great idea? Marina Sofia herself speaks about a zillion languages so it seems a perfect venture for her, and I’m looking forward to reading crime from places I’ve never “visited” before in fiction. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I appreciate you drawing attention to the work of your writer blog mates, it’s great to honour writing within our bookish community. I do enjoy crime fiction which incidentally draws a picture of other places and times and I’ve downloaded Living Candles and look forward to reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So many talented people in Bookblog World! I think Marina Sofia’s new venture sounds great. I don’t think I’ve read any crime fiction from Eastern Europe before – all French and German and Scandi! Hope you enjoy Living Candles – since it’s short I’m hoping I might be able to fit it in soon too.


  9. You’ve got quite the list here! I’m not sure you should wait to review. It sounds like we’re going to be isolated for some time to come…..I suggest having cases of chocolate shipped to your home….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oddly enough I seem to have inadvertently stockpiled enough cake and chocolate to keep me going at least till they find a vaccine! I do need to have words with all my author pals about not bringing all their books out at the same time, though… 😀

      Liked by 2 people

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