TBR Thursday 250…

Episode 250

A huge drop in the TBR this week – down 3 to 205! The plan of reading all the shortest books is beginning to pay off. It’s so exhilarating!

Here are a few more that should slide off soon…

Winner of the People’s Choice Poll

The Old Buzzard Had It Coming by Donis Casey

It was exciting this week! For quite a while there was no clear leader and then gradually the eventual winner pulled away from the field and slowly developed a commanding lead. From the comments, many of you were attracted by the title. Me too! I’m sure that’s what made me buy it way back in 2015. Intriguing choice, People! I plan to read and review it by the end of October.

The Blurb says: Alafair Tucker is a strong woman, the core of family life on a farm in Oklahoma where the back-breaking work and daily logistics of caring for her husband Shaw, their nine children, and being neighborly requires hard muscle and a clear head. She’s also a woman of strong opinions, and it is her opinion that her neighbor, Harley Day, is a drunkard and a reprobate. So, when Harley’s body is discovered frozen in a snowdrift one January day in 1912, she isn’t surprised that his long-suffering family isn’t, if not actually celebrating, much grieving.

When Alafair helps Harley’s wife prepare the body for burial, she discovers that Harley’s demise was anything but natural—there is a bullet lodged behind his ear. Alafair is concerned when she hears that Harley’s son, John Lee, is the prime suspect in his father’s murder, for Alafair’s seventeen-year-old daughter Phoebe is in love with the boy. At first, Alafair’s only fear is that Phoebe is in for a broken heart, but as she begins to unravel the events that led to Harley’s death, she discovers that Phoebe might be more than just John Lee’s sweetheart: she may be his accomplice in murder.

* * * * *

Short Stories

Thirst by Ken Kalfus

In recent years, Kalfus has become one of my favourite authors and I’m gradually working my way through his back catalogue. This was his first collection of short stories, I believe. This, and the next two books, are all from my 20 Books of Summer list…

The Blurb says: Distinguished by black comedy and an international perspective, Ken Kalfus’ stories frequently fold into each other and are most often about the abrupt dislocation of people bumping into different cultures, be they real, hallucinated, dreamed, or desired. His characters — which include an endless line of refugees fleeing Sarajevo with no particular destination, an Irish au pair plagued by her own psychosexual fears in a Paris science museum, and an entirely fictitious baseball league — are constantly thumping their heads against a shifting reality. Kalfus’ sympathetic portraits of human beings caught in the tectonic cultural shifts that disrupt our lives are frequently hilarious, consistently touching, and powerfully creative.

* * * * *

Vintage Crime

The Spoilt Kill by Mary Kelly

After a little spate of books from authors they’d previously published, the BL seems to be back to adding “new” authors to their list, and it’s always fun not quite knowing what to expect. I like the idea of that corpse in the clay!

The Blurb says: Shentall’s, a long-established institution of the Staffordshire Potteries industry, is under attack. With its designs leaked to international competition and its prices undercut, private investigator Hedley Nicholson has been tasked with finding the culprit of the suspected sabotage.

But, industrial espionage may just be the beginning. Delving further into the churning heart of Shentall’s Pottery, Nicholson’s prying is soon to unearth rumours of bonds cruelly smashed to pieces, grievances irrevocably baked in stone and a very real body, turning and turning in the liquid clay.

First published in 1961, The Spoilt Kill received widespread critical acclaim and praise from contemporary crime writers such as Julian Symons. It was awarded the CWA Gold Dagger and remains a finely crafted masterpiece of the crime genre.

* * * * *

Classic Fiction

Lady Susan by Jane Austen

Given my lifelong love affair with Jane Austen, I can’t think why I’ve never read this before. Time to correct that omission!

The Blurb says: Beautiful, flirtatious, and recently widowed, Lady Susan Vernon seeks an advantageous second marriage for herself, while attempting to push her daughter into a dismal match. A magnificently crafted novel of Regency manners and mores that will delight Austen enthusiasts with its wit and elegant expression.

* * * * *

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

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

PS New laptop arriving later so I’ll catch up on comments and your posts once I’m up and running – might be later today, might be three weeks on Tuesday, depending on how quickly I can get it all set up. If you hear loud sobbing coming from a northerly direction, send me chocolate! Typing on my old lappy has become nightmarish now that I have to bang repeatedly on the “y” key every time I need to use it. Have you ever tried writing reviews using only words without a “y” in them? It’s reall, reall annoing, I can tell ou!

45 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 250…

    • Haha, it’s never as bad as I think it’s going to be, thankfully! All working, and just a couple of tweaks required. 😀 It is, because I’m always sad to see the three losers too – I always end up reminding myself that I really want to read them all! Looking forward to Lady Susan…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good luck with the laptop. Hopefully you will have better success than I did last month when we changed Internet providers. Shudder. I think you will have fun with Lady Susan, a brilliantly horrible character.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I always put technology changes off till I’m totally forced into it. My old laptop has been gradually dying for about two years. It’s nice to have one that doesn’t make complaining whirring noises if I open too many windows… 😉 I’m really looking forward to Lady Susan – what joy to have an unread Austen!

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  2. Best wishes for an easy set up and good luck with finding lots of works with a y to celebrate 😉 Still haven’t started reading Kalfus so I’ll be interested to see your thoughts on that book! I’m finding it hard to draw my eyes away from the joyful dog…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay! Yes, I’m very, really, excitedly, happyyyy to have a working y!! Haha, I always put technology changes off till I can’t avoid them, but really it’s so much easier to set up new computers than it used to be. I’ll be interested myself in the Kalfus to see whether he started out great or had to work towards it. I seem to be reading him backwards. I love the dog! Life enhancing… 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved the movie Love & Friendship (if you haven’t already watched it, you should) so I am tempted to read Lady Susan.

    Once my keyboard had two letters out of order, one of them being really important. But since it was a PC, not a laptop, I just had the keyboard replaced, not the computer. Good luck with everything!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was actually when that movie came out that I put Lady Susan on my list, on the grounds that I should read the book first – shows how long it’s been there!

      I toyed with the idea of just getting a USB keyboard but really the old laptop had been slowly dying for years and was constantly over-heating, so the y-key issue was just the final straw! And how lovely it is to be able to type normally again!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve already read (and enjoyed) Lady Susan so Spoilt Kill looks most attractive. But really, congratulations on tackling that TBR pile so successfully! You put me to shame as my my recent books have been rereads of titles I’ll probably continue to hang on to…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ m trying to do a bit more re-reading – since I got into review copies I never seem to have enough time, and I love re-reading old favourites. But I’m enjoying getting through some of these short books – it makes me feel like I’m achieving something! (Though I’m not sure what, exactly… 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, me too! I swear he’s smiling! 😂 Happily the laptop change went reasonably smoothly with only a few tweaks left to go. And it is nice to be able to use that y key without damaging my finger! Looking forward to The Old Buzzard – hope it lives up to its title! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope laptop serves you long and well, FictionFan! It’s so nice to have some good new equipment to use. As for your books, I’m glad to see Lady Susan on your list; I can’t wait to see what you think of that one. And I hope we didn’t steer you wrong with the Casey!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My poor old laptop had been begging to go to the retirement home for years, so the y key was merely the final straw. It’s lovely to have one that doesn’t overheat when I accidentally open up too many windows! I’m looking forward to both Lady Susan and The Old Buzzard – I have total confidence in the Voice of the People… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • I can type Yay now too, without damaging my finger on that pesky Y key! 😉

      I can’t imagine why I haven’t read Lady Susan before, but it’s a lovely thought to have an unread Austen on my list. 😀

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  6. I’m not tempted enough to add any of these to my list (yet… maybe after your reviews!), but several of them sound promising.

    LOVE the gif you shared today, and I wish you much pleasure with the new laptop! New electronics are such fun when things go well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • But you’ll be an Austen fan by then, so you’ll definitely want to add Lady Susan! 😉

      Haha, I love that dog too – I swear he’s smiling! 😂 The laptop transfer went reasonably smoothly, so I didn’t have to eat my whole supply of medicinal chocolate… but I should probably have another dose now in case there are any after-effects… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, that sounds even worse than mine! Although the y key was only the last straw – the poor old thing has been making awful whirring noises any time I open up too many windows for ages. It’s the thought of changing that puts me off, but it’s never nearly as bad as I think it’s going to be.

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