TBR Thursday 298…

Episode 298

Another meteoric drop in the TBR this week – down 5 to 190! Still more to do with culling and abandonment issues than reading, I fear, but every little counts! 

Here are a few more that are rising to the top of the heap, and I’m almost certain that none of these will end up on the abandoned pile… 

Vintage Crime Shorts 

Bodies from the Library 4 edited by Tony Medawar

Courtesy of HarperCollins. The idea of this series is to bring together stories which have never appeared in book form before. While I very much enjoyed the second book (I haven’t read the first one), in my review of the third one I felt the quality of the stories had dipped and suggested that “there is bound to be a finite number of great stories that fall into that category”. We’ll see if this fourth collection can make me eat my words…

The Blurb says: Mystery stories have been around for centuries—there are whodunits, whydunits and howdunits, including locked-room puzzles, detective stories without detectives, and crimes with a limited choice of suspects.

Countless volumes of such stories have been published, but some are still impossible to find: stories that appeared in a newspaper, magazine or an anthology that has long been out of print; ephemeral works such as plays not aired, staged or screened for decades; and unpublished stories that were absorbed into an author’s archive when they died . . .

Here for the first time are three never-before-published mysteries by Edmund Crispin, Ngaio Marsh and Leo Bruce, and two pieces written for radio by Gladys Mitchell and H. C. Bailey—the latter featuring Reggie Fortune. Together with a newly unearthed short story by Ethel Lina White that inspired Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes, and a complete short novel by Christianna Brand, this diverse mix of tales by some of the world’s most popular classic crime writers contains something for everyone.

Complete with indispensable biographies by Tony Medawar of all the featured authors, the fourth volume in the series Bodies from the Library once again brings into the daylight the forgotten, the lost and the unknown.

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Fiction

The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

Courtesy of Penguin via NetGalley. I adored Shafak’s last book, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World, and fully intended (intend) to read her earlier books. But she’s beaten me to it by producing another new one. My hopes are astronomically high!

The Blurb says: Two teenagers, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot, meet at a taverna on the island they both call home. The taverna is the only place that Kostas and Defne can meet in secret, hidden beneath the blackened beams from which hang garlands of garlic and chilli peppers, creeping honeysuckle, and in the centre, growing through a cavity in the roof, a fig tree. The fig tree witnesses their hushed, happy meetings; their silent, surreptitious departures. The fig tree is there, too, when war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to ashes and rubble, when the teenagers vanish. Decades later, Kostas returns – a botanist, looking for native species – looking, really, for Defne. The two lovers return to the taverna to take a clipping from the fig tree and smuggle it into their suitcase, bound for London. Years later, the fig tree in the garden is their daughter Ada’s only knowledge of a home she has never visited, as she seeks to untangle years of secrets and silence, and find her place in the world.

The Island of Missing Trees is a rich, magical tale of belonging and identity, love and trauma, nature and renewal, from the Booker-shortlisted author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World.

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Fiction

The Feast by Margaret Kennedy

Courtesy of Faber & Faber via NetGalley. I can’t remember if I saw a tempting review of this one or if I was just attracted by the blurb, but it sounds like it should be fun! And at last – a short blurb!

The Blurb says: Cornwall, Midsummer 1947. Pendizack Manor Hotel is buried in the rubble of a collapsed cliff. Seven guests have perished, but what brought this strange assembly together for a moonlit feast before this Act of God – or Man? Over the week before the landslide, we meet the hotel guests in all their eccentric glory: and as friendships form and romances blossom, sins are revealed, and the cracks widen … A wise, witty fable, The Feast is a banquet indeed.

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Dalziel and Pascoe

Pictures of Perfection by Reginald Hill

The 14th book in my slow re-read of my favourite contemporary crime series of all time, and this is one of the very best! Although the blurb doesn’t mention him (who writes these things?), this is the one where Wieldy comes into his own as an equal star of the series alongside Dalziel and Pascoe, and it has one of the most memorable prologues ever written…

The Blurb says: High in the Mid-Yorkshire Dales stands the traditional village of Enscombe, seemingly untouched by the modern world. But contemporary life is about to intrude when the disappearance of a policeman brings Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel and DCI Peter Pascoe to its doors.

As the detectives dig beneath the veneer of idyllic village life a new pattern emerges: of family feuds, ancient injuries, cheating and lies. And finally, as the community gathers for the traditional Squire’s Reckoning, it looks as if the simmering tensions will erupt in a bloody climax…

* * * * *

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

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So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

32 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 298…

    • Her last book was one of the best I’ve read in the last several years and I still think about the characters in it often, so I have high hopes for The Island of Missing Trees – I hope not too high!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oooh you have some good ones here! It is a travesty that I’ve still not read The Feast so I’m glad you’re keeping its flag waving. And I’ve not read anything from Shafak, which is equally remiss of me. This one sounds right up my street.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel I must have seen at least one glowing review of The Feast to tempt me to pick it up, but can’t remember where, and I haven’t read anything else by her. It does sound like it could be fun though – fingers crossed! Shafak’s last book leapt straight onto my all-time favourites list so it’s maddening that I’ve never managed to read any of her other stuff despite having one or two of them on the TBR already. So I have really high hopes for this one – hopefully not too high though!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooooo, another Elif Shafak!! I took your advice and read the earlier one and absolutely loved it. I’ll be anxious to find out if this one is as good! I might go ahead and see if it’s available at my library. 😃

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  3. As far as I’m concerned, FictionFan, Hill’s Dalziel and Pascoe series is always worth a re-read/listen. So I’m glad that’s coming up on your list. Sometimes it’s good to have those great reads that you know will be satisfying, for those times when you’ve just finished a book that…wasn’t. Bodies From the Library sounds quite good, too; I hope the stories are back up to expectations this time. At any rate, that’s a solid list of author names. I’d like to read The Feast, too, as it sounds like fun. I’ll be keen to know what you think of it.

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    • Happily Colin Buchanan is back narrating this one after someone else took over for the last couple (and didn’t do a good job with them). I love this one too, so I’m looking forward to it! Bodies from the Library does look as if it has lots of interesting stuff in it, so I’m hoping the last one was just a blip and I’ll be eating my words. 😉 I’m sure I must have seen a glowing review of The Feast because it’s not necessarily one I’d have picked from the blurb, but it does sound like it should be fun – fingers crossed!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, I’m not sure how it happened but hey, every one down takes me closer to my target… 😉 They all look good this week – the Dalziel and Pascoe will definitely be a five star, obviously, and I’m excited about the new Elif Shafak – her writing is wonderful!

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    • Haha, don’t tempt me! I’m weak-willed enough… 😉

      It’s a particularly good batch this week, I think. That Dalziel and Pascoe is so enjoyable and I can’t wait to get to the Elif Shafak. The Feast is the only one I’m slightly dubious about, but it does sound as if it might be fun – here’s hoping we both enjoy it and The Island of Missing Trees!

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    • Haha, yes, I only need to get rid of another thirty or so to meet the target I set for this year… 😉 I’m almost sure I’ve seen a glowing review of The Feast somewhere around the blogosphere so hopefully it will be as good as it sounds!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I worry about your FF, getting your hopes too high for the Elif Shafak one. Not because I know anything about that author (I don’t) but because I’ve found myself in that situation, and been disappointed! I sort of waver back and forth on Ruth Ware because I find her books so inconsistent these days.

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    • It’s always a problem when you love a book so much – the author has to live up to it with every new book! I hope this one will be great, but I have at least one other (maybe two – can’t remember) on my TBR, so she’ll get another chance if this one turns out to be a bit disappointing. I’ve had a mixed reaction to Ruth Ware too, and Sharon Bolton is another one I sometimes love passionately and sometimes abandon!

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  5. I have high hopes for the Shafak too, also having loved her last book.
    I suppose some stories were never published because they just weren’t that great so I’m not surprised you are finding the quality of that collection is going dow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I should be starting the Shafak sometime this week – fingers crossed, but her writing is so lovely I’m reasonably confident it’ll be a good read! Yes, I thought the quality in the last collection was a bit low so I’m actually quite surprised to see a fourth book, but I’m hoping they’ll prove me wrong. It certainly has some well-known contributors! Again I should be starting it very soon, so we’ll see…

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