TBR Thursday 283 – The People’s Choice…

Episode 283

(A reminder of The People’s Choice plan. Once a month, I shall list the four oldest books on the TBR, then the next four, and so on, and each time you will select the one you think I should read, either because you’ve read and enjoyed it, or because you think the blurb looks good. And I will read the one you pick within three months! If I begin to fall behind, I’ll have a gap till I catch up again. In the event of a tie, I’ll have the casting vote.)

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OK, time for the next batch of four, and I have baffled the desire of You, The People, to pick me a 600 page book every month by the ingenious device of not including any… bwahahaa!! Still in 2016, and all crime this time, most of it older or vintage. The first two are Brother Cadfael books – a series I loved long ago but haven’t revisited in years. No idea why I got The Black Cabinet – probably a Kindle Deal or something – but it sounds potentially entertaining. And, of course, although Martin Edwards’ book isn’t vintage crime, he is the man behind the British Library Crime Classics series, so still all connected! A trickier choice this time, I feel, because of the rough similarity in the books.

I’m intrigued to see which one you pick…

Historical Crime

The Virgin in the Ice by Ellis Peters

The Virgin in the IceAdded 11th April 2016. 8,018 ratings on Goodreads, with a 4.14 average rating. 294 pages.

The Blurb says: The winter of 1139 will disrupt Brother Cadfael’s tranquil life in Shrewsbury with the most disturbing of events. Raging civil war has sent refugees fleeing north from Worcester. Among them are two orphans from a noble family, a boy of thirteen and an eighteen-year-old girl of great beauty, and their companion, a young Benedictine nun. The trio never reaches Shrewsbury, having disappeared somewhere in the wild countryside.

Cadfael is afraid for these three lost lambs, but another call for help sends him to the church of Saint Mary. A wounded monk, found naked and bleeding by the roadside, will surely die without Cadfael’s healing arts. Why this holy man has been attacked and what his fevered ravings reveal soon give Brother Cadfael a clue to the fate of the missing travelers. Now Cadfael sets out on a dangerous quest to find them. The road will lead him to a chill and terrible murder and a tale of passion gone awry. And at journey’s end awaits a vision of what is best, and worst, in humankind.

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Historical Crime

Brother Cadfael’s Penance by Ellis Peters

Brother Cadfael's PenanceAdded 8th May 2016. 4,576 ratings on Goodreads, with a 4.27 average. 292 pages.

The Blurb says: November, 1145. While Cadfael has bent Abbey rules, he has never broken his monastic vows–until now. Word has come to Shrewsbury of a treacherous act that has left 30 of Maud’s knights imprisoned. All have been ransomed except Cadfael’s secret son, Olivier. Conceived in Cadfael’s soldiering youth and unaware of his father’s identity, Olivier will die if he is not freed.

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Vintage Crime

The Black Cabinet by Patricia Wentworth

The Black CabinetAdded 7th June 2016. 266 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.72 average. 251 pages. 

The Blurb says: The lowly assistant to a London dressmaker, Chloe Dane yearns for a new life. She has bittersweet memories of being a carefree child playing hide-and-seek at Danesborough, her family’s magnificent country estate. Decades later, the ancestral mansion has been restored to its former glory—and Chloe is shocked to discover that she is the sole heir.

Danesborough is not the sun-filled, evergreen place she remembers. The trees are bare and the house is shrouded in mist. But the enormous gold-and-black lacquered Chinese cabinet in the drawing room is exactly the same. Chloe’s childhood imagination created an entire story out of the intricate carvings on the cabinet: a flowing river filled with boats and fishermen and one frightening man she called Mr. Dark.

But now, as Chloe begins to uncover Mitchell Dane’s true motives for bequeathing her the centuries-old manse, she has a very real reason to be afraid: The truth about what’s hidden in the black cabinet will soon threaten her life.

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Contemporary Crime

The Coffin Trail by Martin Edwards

The Coffin TrailAdded 9th June 2016. 1,781 ratings on Goodreads, with a 3.66 average. 301 pages.

The Blurb says: Oxford historian Daniel Kind and his partner Miranda both want to escape to a new life. On impulse they buy a cottage in Brackdale, an idyllic valley in the Lake District. But though they hope to live the dream , the past soon catches up with him…

Tarn Cottage was once home to Barrie Gilpin, suspected of a savage murder. A young woman’s body was found on the Sacrifice Stone, an ancient pagan site up on the fell., but Barrie died before he could be arrested. Daniel has personal reasons for becoming fascinated by the case and for believing in Barrie’s innocence. When the police launch a cold case review, Brackdale’s skeletons begin to rattle and the lives of Daniel and DCI Hannah Scarlett become strangely entwined. Daniel and Hannah find themselves risking their lives as they search for a ruthless murderer who is prepared to kill again to hide a shocking secret.

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

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VOTE NOW!

(Click on title and then remember to also click on Vote, or your vote won’t count!)

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61 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 283 – The People’s Choice…

  1. Oh, such great choices, FictionFan! Whichever wins, I think you’ll have a good experience. I happen to be fond of Edwards’ Lake District series, so my vote went for The Coffin Trail, but only just. I’d be happy for you whichever one of these turns out to be the winner.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They do look good this month – I was clearly in a major older crime mode at that point, acquiring far more than I could read! I did read one of Edwards’ Lake District books and enjoyed it, and then got this with a view to reading the series, but you know how that story goes… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, so mean, but I’m onto The People now! Mind you, there’s a massive one on the list for next month… I shall have to come up with another cunning plan… 😈

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  2. This was the hardest choice yet. I love the Cadfael series. The other two sounded great also. In the end I had to go with one of the Cadfael books–The Virgin in the Ice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s much harder when they’re all similar, isn’t it? I loved the Cadfael books back in the day and have been meaning to revisit them for years so I’ll be quite happy if The Virgin in the Ice wins… 😀

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  3. Yes, this is a hard one this month, and not a chunkster among them. I’ve gone for the Black Cabbinet, as it is the one I would be most likely to pick up. The others all look interesting too though, so I’m sure you will be fine with whatever wins.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I’m not sure I’ll ever trust The People enough to put another chunkster on, though there is a huge one due for next month’s batch! The Black Cabinet sounds like fun, so I’ll be quite happy if it wins. But as you say, they all look good…

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  4. I think my vote is going to The Black Cabinet just because now I want to know what’s really in it??? (And I wish someone would mysteriously leave me a well-restored mansion!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, it better be a skeleton at the very least! Yes, I get most jealous of all these fictional characters who are constantly left houses by unknown relatives, although to be honest, it never seems to work out too well for them… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

            • Oh man, if we hadn’t bought our house when we did, we might have to! I think part of being millennials is that we’re always in awe that we own a house!

              Liked by 1 person

            • I guess it is a pretty recent thing here too, it was just very instilled in my generation that home ownership was a major sign of success. My parents actually always rented when I was growing up so I saw owning a house as something almost unattainable! But so many of my friends’ parents were out there buying houses on a single income and now those houses are worth a million dollars!

              Liked by 1 person

            • I remember when I’d just started work in the 70s, a girl I worked with bought her house and it was so unusual everyone was talking about it. Married men could sometimes afford to buy a house but for a single young woman to do it was almost unheard of. She had to get her father to guarantee the loan, because no one would lend to a woman without a male guarantor…

              Liked by 1 person

            • Probably, and even more so again after the financial crash. There was a period before that when it was very easy to get loans, but it seems to be almost impossible for young people starting out again now.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Very true. We pay less for our mortgage every month than we would pay to rent a similar size place. It makes it very hard for those trying to get in or to even save the money to buy.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, they seem to need huge deposits over here now. When I bought my first house, 100% mortgages were available and it made buying much more attractive than renting… until interest rates went through the roof!

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            • 100% mortgages were pretty commonplace here for first time buyers for a couple of decades, and then the big crash put an end to it. So we have loads of middle-aged and older people who own their homes, and young people who can’t afford to either buy or rent. It’s a major problem.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. It was really a tough choice this time!! I read (and loved) all the Cadfael books years ago and almost picked The Virgin in the Ice, but…. I ended up voting for The Black Cabinet. It’s sounds really good! (I liked Derek Jacobi as Cadfael in the PBS adaptations!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s much harder when the books are all similar, isn’t it? I don’t think I’ve read all the Cadfaels but I must have read most of them, some more than once. I loved Derek Jacobi in the role too – he’s always been a favourite of mine. The Black Cabinet sounds like fun, though, so I’ll be quite happy if it wins… it in the lead at the moment…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I do want to read the Cadfaels, but then I also want to read the other two – this is the reason my TBR is such a problem! 😉 I’ll be quite happy this month whatever wins, you’ll all be relieved to know… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • An excellent choice and whether it wins or not I do recommend the Cadfael series – I suspect you’d really enjoy them. I used to read them all the time back in the day and must revisit them at some point… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, but I may not be able to reveal what’s in the cabinet for fear of spoilers! I think Ellis Peters can get away with her “virgin” since the books are about Roman Catholic priests – I’m sure she will be a symbolic virgin… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I wouldn’t normally be keen to read a book taking place in 1139, but I like the sound of The Virgin in the Ice. Both the title and the blurb are rather intriguing. Doesn’t look like it’s going to win though. I noticed you don’t have any chunksters this time! Didn’t want to risk it? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, my trust in The People has been sadly shaken by recent events, so best not to put temptation in their way… 😉 I’d be quite happy if The Virgin in the Ice wins – the Cadfael books were favourites of mine back in the day and I’d enjoy revisiting them. But happily this month I’ll be quite happy with whatever wins… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A tricky choice this month. I’ve never read any Cadfaels which I feel is somewhat remiss of me. But it’s always daunting starting an already established series isn’t it – the tbr rockets up! So I’ll be happy if you were to read one for me, FF. That said, my vote goes to The Black Cabinet. Golden Age Gothic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The good things about the Cadfaels is that they really all work fine on their own, so it’s a great series for occasional dipping. I’ve never even tried to read them in order – I always just picked any that were on the library shelves. Ha, The Black Cabinet seems to have taken the popular fancy… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • I voted on your behalf! I’ve read one of the Martin Edwards’ series before and enjoyed it, so I’d be quite happy if it won, but it’s not looking likely at this stage…

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  8. I’ve only listened to radio versions of the Cadfael series, but I’ve read a couple of Patricia Wentworth’s other titles and enjoyed them and Martin Edwards’ Lake District series is so very good at creating a full community and place, so I’ll choose either of the last two.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read one of the later ones in Martin Edwards’ series a few years ago and enjoyed it, which is why I added this one to my TBR, intending to catch up with the series in order. The best laid plans… 😉

      Like

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