TBR Thursday 332…

Episode 332

Good grief! After weeks of doing really well, it’s all gone horribly wrong! Books have been arriving at an alarming rate and tennis season has started so reading has slumped accordingly. The result – *gulps* – is that the TBR has shot up by SEVEN to 182! *faints*

In other news, WordPress sent me one of their little notifications yesterday…

I know – some of you are saying “Is that all?” and others are saying “Wow! People viewed half a million posts on this blog?” while most of you are saying “Who cares about stats anyway?” Well, I agree it’s all meaningless, and most of the people doubtless got here by accident and promptly scuttled away again as quickly as they could, but still. Half a million views! Okay, it took over nine years and nearly two thousand posts, but still…

Since I don’t have the skill to blow my own trumpet, Louis Armstrong has kindly stepped in.

Anyway, here are a few more books I’m hoping will blow me away soon… 

Winner of the People’s Choice

The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler

Well, People, the voting was incredibly close this month and no book took a decisive lead at any point. But finally it all came down to one vote, and The Mask of Dimitrios pulled off a shock late victory! Excellent choice, People – I’m looking forward to it. It will be an August read. 

The Blurb says: English crime novelist Charles Latimer is travelling in Istanbul when he makes the acquaintance of Turkish police inspector Colonel Haki. It is from him that he first hears of the mysterious Dimitrios – an infamous master criminal, long wanted by the law, whose body has just been fished out of the Bosphorus. Fascinated by the story, Latimer decides to retrace Dimitrios’ steps across Europe to gather material for a new book. But, as he gradually discovers more about his subject’s shadowy history, fascination tips over into obsession. And, in entering Dimitrios’ criminal underworld, Latimer realizes that his own life may be on the line.

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Scottish Classic

Guy Mannering by Sir Walter Scott

One from my Classics Club list. Since Dickens is my traditional Christmas read, I’m planning to make Scott my new traditional summer read – for the five years of the challenge at any rate! I’m always ashamed of how little Scott I’ve read, so it’s time to start remedying that…

The Blurb says: On the auspicious night that Guy Mannering is shown to the house of the Bertrams of Ellengowan, the Bertrams’ heir is born, and Mannering, a skeptical astrologer, predicts the child’s future. Five years later the prophecy is fulfilled, and the heir, Harry Bertram, becomes the centre of a plot to rob the boy of his inheritance. Harry’s subsequent struggles are set against a backdrop of chaos and upheaval in a socially fragmented Scotland where everyone, from landowners to gypsies, is searching for their rightful place.

* * * * *

Crime

The Midnight Lock by Jeffery Deaver

Courtesy of HarperCollins. When Deaver started out many years ago, I was an early fan. Then he introduced his long-running Lincoln Rhyme character and I didn’t like the whole premise of the series, so I stopped reading Deaver. However recently I’ve enjoyed a few of his thrillers, and now HarperCollins have sent me his latest Lincoln Rhyme, so I’m interested enough to see if the characters have developed and hopefully changed over the intervening years… 

The Blurb says: When a woman arrives home to her Manhattan apartment to find that her personal items have been rearranged while she slept, police initially dismiss her complaint. Nothing was stolen, and there’s no sign of breaking and entering. But when the same woman turns up dead, Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are brought in to investigate the murder. They soon learn that the murderer calls himself “the Locksmith.” He is obsessed with locks, slipping into homes in the dead of night and tying his victims up with knots or locks, ultimately strangling them.

Their hunt for the killer is interrupted when an internal investigation in the police force uncovers what seems to be a crucial mistake in one of Rhyme’s previous cases. He is removed from the case, and must investigate the Locksmith in secret to untangle the mysteries behind the psychotic killer before he can set his ultimate trap. 

* * * * *

Fiction

Shadow Girls by Carol Birch

Courtesy of Head of Zeus via NetGalley. I loved Birch’s Jamrach’s Menagerie a decade or so ago, but then for some reason she fell completely off my radar and I’ve read nothing by her since. So when this one turned up on NetGalley, I grabbed it. The blurb sounds good, but it seems to be getting rather mixed reviews so far. We’ll see! 

The Blurb says: Manchester, 1960s. Sally, a cynical 15-year-old schoolgirl, is much too clever for her own good. When partnered with her best friend, Pamela – a mouthy girl who no-one else much likes – Sally finds herself unable to resist the temptation of rebellion. The pair play truant, explore forbidden areas of the old school and – their favourite – torment posh Sylvia Rose, with her pristine uniform and her beautiful voice that wins every singing prize.

One day, Sally ventures (unauthorised, of course) up to the greenhouse on the roof alone. Or at least she thinks she’s alone, until she sees Sylvia on the roof too. Sally hurries downstairs, afraid of Sylvia snitching, but Sylvia appears to be there as well.

Amid the resurgence of ghost stories and superstition among the girls, a tragedy is about to occur, one that will send Sally more and more down an uncanny rabbit hole…

* * * * *

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

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

60 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 332…

  1. I thought Shadow Girls was very overrated! And I feel your pain – with the French Open on from 10am, and the new night sessions going on until midnight, when is a person meant to find time to read? Seeing Sergi Bruguera as Sascha Zverev’s coach reminded me of the year I was doing my GCSEs, when Bruguera knocked Stefan Edberg out in the first round and I was so upset that I hardly did any revision all day, so I’ve been dealing with this very serious problem for over 30 years 😉 .

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was *so* glad that Rafa won in straight sets yesterday, because there’s no way I could have gone to bed mid-match, and I really didn’t fancy being up until 1 in the morning – I’m too old for that now!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, you’re still a newbie! I remember the thrill of Jimmy Connors and Chrissie Ewart both winning Wimbledon in the year they were engaged! Sooo romantic! 😂 I must admit I’ve given up even trying to watch the Aussie Open properly these days – my ability to completely change my sleep pattern for a couple of weeks has gone! I don’t mind the tournaments that run till midnight since I don’t have to get up early if I don’t want to, but anything beyond that and I just end up like a zombie after a few days. I wonder if Rafa will be able to pull it off again…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I stayed up till about 3 in the morning, the year Rafa beat Novak in the US Open final and there was a rain delay mid-match, and then went to work a few hours later, but that was 11 years ago, when I was younger and fitter 🙂 .

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Finally my sacrifices at the altar to the powers that be paid off. UP SEVEN! I’m so filled with glee. My next sacrifice will blow the previous ones out of the water! 😁

    I know stats don’t mean anything but still, congrats. That’s quite impressive. Although maybe not if it took you nine years, I don’t really know. Like I also don’t know how I even got there and never managed to leave again. I must like you or something odd like that. 🤔

    Vamos Rafa!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nooooooo!! No more sacrifices!! I can’t cope! A couple of the new arrivals are complete monsters too… 😭
      Haha, aw, thank you! I’m certainly impressed, though I can’t imagine what they all came here looking for. I suspect it may all be authors, plotting revenge! Or kids, doing their homework – I’d love to see their teachers’ faces when they hand in my views on some of the classics… 😉
      Vamos! I wonder if he can do it again… 🎾

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    • Haha, thank you! I wonder what they were all looking for… and if any of them found it! 😉
      I like the sound of Shadow Girls, so fingers crossed. Vamos, Rafa! At least I don’t have to go nocturnal for the French! Meant to ask, what did you think of Ash retiring?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was surprised when she retired but think she’s made a good decision to retire at the top of her game. Can’t wait to see what she does next!
        Hopefully the parents of the child who approached Rafa on the court after the game didn’t lift him over the barrier to make that happen. Rafa is making clay look easy to play on 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, I feel she made the right decision – it’s too much of a commitment if you’re not 100% enthusiastic about it. It’ll be interesting if she does take up another sport professionally! Haha, I loved how Rafa was ruffling the boy’s hair – I wondered if he was thinking he could steal some… 😉

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  3. Congratulations on your half a million views! I quite enjoyed Shadow Girls, but despite the blurb I found it much more of a school story than a ghost story and I can see why not everyone would like it. I haven’t read much of Scott either – Guy Mannering sounds like a good one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I can’t help wondering what they were all looking for… and if any of them found it! 😉 Glad to hear you liked Shadow Girls – the blurb appeals to me so it’s been disappointing to see some negative reviews. I don’t think I’ll mind it being more of a school story – and forewarned is forearmed! I’ve put five Scotts on my new CC list, so I hope I enjoy them! 😉

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  4. Congratulations and well done , FictionFan! That’s a lot of visitors! I know I always love my visits here. I learn every time, and I do love your wit (and those Mr. Darcy photos!). I hope you’ll enjoy the Ambler; it’s an interesting story on a couple of levels, in my opinion. Your others look good, too, although I’m not sure of the whole supernatural thing in The Shadow Girls. Still, I’ll be interested in what you think of that one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, thank you! 😀 Haha, I can’t help wondering what they were all looking for, and if any of them actually found it! I’m looking forward to the Ambler – it sounds very much like my kind of thing, and it’s a bit lighter than some of the ones that have won recently! I’m not sure if Shadow Girls is as supernatural as the blurb suggests – I have a feeling the blurb might be a bit misleading and that might be why it’s getting some negative reviews. But we’ll see!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations on half a million views! That’s a lot of visitors! I will be interested to hear what you think of Guy Mannering – I’ve not read any Scott. I considered putting Ivanhoe on my Classics Club list but it has a reputation for being a bit impenetrable. I still want to try his work though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Haha, I can’t help wondering what they all came here looking for… and if any of them actually found it! I’m really hoping that I like Guy Mannering, I’ve liked most of the Scotts that I’ve read so far but one or two have been a little more like hard work! It’s so long since I read Ivanhoe that I really can’t remember even whether I enjoyed it or not, but my recommendation for a newcomer to Scott would be The Fair Maid of Perth, which I think is a bit lighter than a lot of them, and more entertaining.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s quite an achievement; you are just too modest 😊 Shadow Girls sounds too creepy for my liking, plus I still remember vividly how much I did not like Jamrach’s Menagerie, At least one I don’t have to fight with when it comes to adding to the tbr…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, thank you! I’m just wondering what they all came here looking for… and whether any of them actually found it! 😉 Oh, didn’t you like Jamrach’s Menagerie? To be honest it’s so long ago I don’t remember an awful lot about the story now, but I do remember loving it at the time. I’m not sure Shadow Girls is as creepy as the blurb suggests – I think that might be why it’s getting some negative reviews. Misleading blurb syndrome! We’ll see…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on that huge number of views! That’s great! Maybe that helps offset the pain of the TBR climb?
    I’ve only read Ivanhoe, so Guy Mannering intrigues me, though there’s something about the plot that reminds me of Bearskin by Howard Pyle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Haha, I think most of my visitors only come here to laugh at the state of my TBR! 😉 I read Ivanhoe so long ago I really remember almost nothing about it, not even how much I enjoyed it. But I’ve enjoyed most of the Scotts that I’ve read so hopefully Guy Mannering will join that band. I don’t know Bearskin – I’ll need to look it up…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Several of these sound really good so I look forward to the reviews in the near future! (if you can tear yourself away from tennis 😉)

    Congrats on your accomplishment! 🎉 I’ve been blogging here and there since 2005, but will never achieve that level of fame! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • They all sound good to me too, so fingers crossed for some five star reviews in the near future! Summer is always difficult because of the tennis – my reading always falls horribly behind! 🎾

      Haha, thank you! I can’t help wondering what they all came here looking for – I suspect it may all have been disgruntled authors plotting revenge… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Congratulations on your half million hits, but too bad about the increase in TBR. Maybe the two things will cancel each other out? I need to read some Scott as well, and Guy Mannering looks as though it might be quite good. Shadow Girls sounds a bit too much like YA for my taste, but hopefully you will enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Haha, I suppose it could be worse – I could have had 182 views and half a million books on the TBR! I’ve enjoyed the few Scotts that I’ve read so I’m glad that I remembered to put several of them on my new Classics Club list this time. Although whether it was a good idea to decide to read them over the summer while the tennis is on we shall soon find out! Oh, I do hope Shadow Girls doesn’t turn out to be YA – that wouldn’t work for me at all! I’m kind of hoping it might be a spooky thriller…

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    • Thank you! Haha, a few stick around – most flee for the hills pretty quickly… 😉 I like the sound of Shadow Girls so I’m resolutely ignoring the less than glowing reviews…

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  10. Up SEVEN??? Oh my gracious, you’re really on a roll now! Congrats on the half-million viewers mark — I didn’t even know WordPress kept statistics like that (not that my poor little blog is going to find itself reaching something like that!) My mom loves Deaver, but I haven’t read any of his; hope this one’s good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know!! Suddenly the books seem to be arriving in truckloads! Ha, thank you! I can’t help wondering what they were all looking for… and if any of them found it! 😉 Deaver is a great writer, but I just didn’t like the Lincoln Rhyme character. Maybe he’ll win me over this time!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Congrats on the views! Perhaps they were looking for your savage one-star takedowns, or all the GIFs of Darcy and Clooney? 😉

    Sorry about the TBR jump but selfishly it makes me feel better about my own TBR list, ha ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Haha, I do think lots of them come here for the pics rather than the words! I should just post endless Darcy pics – less work, more traffic… 😉 I can’t believe my TBR – after all these weeks of being sooo good! Aarghh!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow, that is a lot – I’ve had about 170,000 on the books one and have been going about nine years, too! Well done! And a few in, so … it’s fine, right? Not sure how I’m doing, will balance it all up on Tuesday (gulp).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Haha, I do wonder what brings them here though – I suspect it’s the pretty pictures… 😉 I give up with the TBR! I try so hard and then a bunch of parcels arrive and I’m back to square one… 😂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! And at least three of those visitors probably found what they were looking for… 😉

      I’m abandoning books by the bucketload this week, so that always helps the TBR… 😂

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  13. Gladly I’m not really tempted by any of these, but I have to say ‘Congratulations!’, that’s an amazing number, well done and brilliantly deserved, woo hoo to you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ohhh Shadows Girls by Carol Birch sounds good! Sort of reminds me of that mystery rock book you read awhile ago about the disappearing girls on that field trip.

    And congrats on the 500k views! You put so much work into this blog, it’s obvious you have a wonderful following and you deserve it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes! Ooh, if it turns out to be as good as that one, it’ll be a treat!

      Aw, thanks, Anne! 😊 I still can’t help feeling sorry for all those thousands of people who’ve landed here by accident though… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  15. These all sound great! I have a similar problem…my tbr pile is over 50 books! I don’t know how I am going to read them all because I always find new books I want.

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    • They do look good, don’t they? Haha, the growing TBR pile seems to be a symptom of blogging! Still, too many books is a nicer problem than too few… 😉 Thanks for popping in and commenting! 😀

      Like

  16. Congratulations on your so successful blog, FF! I do notice that sometimes when I’m googling a book, an FF review is right up there on the first page. I’m looking forward to your reviews of Scott’s books, and expecting to add one or more to my list as a result.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Christine! Ha, I don’t see that, probably because I’m never googling books I’ve already reviewed. But I always like when I see a blog buddy’s review pop up in Google – makes me think we’re not just the tiny bubble it sometimes seems! 😀 I’m looking forward to Guy Mannering though my reading is falling so far behind at the moment it could be a while before I get to it…

      Liked by 1 person

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