Call of the Penguins By Hazel Prior

Call of the Penguins By Hazel Prior

Fiercely resilient and impeccably dressed, Veronica McCreedy has lived an incredible 87 years. Most of them alone, in her huge house by the sea.

But Veronica has recently discovered a late-life love for family and friendship, adventure and wildlife.

More specifically, a love for penguins!

And so when she’s invited to co-present a wildlife documentary, far away in the southern hemisphere, she jumps at the chance.

Even though it will put her in the spotlight, just when she thought she would soon fade into the wings.

Perhaps it’s never too late to shine?

My Thoughts:

After reading Hazel’s previous novel called Away with the penguins, I couldn’t wait to read this one. It is all about a very special lady called Veronica who is 87 years old and now in her later life has discovered things that she wished she had discovered along time ago, but she is making up for it now. She has a love for penguins and when she gets invited to help present a wildlife documentary she jumps at the chance to get near to her feathered friends. It is such a beautifully told tale and with penguins involved too it makes it more special. I really came to love Veronica as a person, she is so kind and just such a lovely lady. This story really warmed my heart. It was such a great read and one that I will have to re read as it is just so good.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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The Quiet People By Paul Cleave

The Quiet People By Paul Cleave

Cameron and Lisa Murdoch are successful New Zealand crime writers, happily married and topping bestseller lists worldwide. They have been on the promotional circuit for years, joking that no one knows how to get away with crime like they do. After all, they write about it for a living.

So when their challenging seven-year-old son Zach disappears, the police and the public naturally wonder if they have finally decided to prove what they have been saying all this time… 

Are they trying to show how they can commit the perfect crime?

My Thoughts:

This was a fantastic read, it is full of suspicion and suspense. I like how Paul leads you into misdirection and it is packed with twists and turns too. With the characters you never really know who to trust and who not too. I loved the sound of the plot for this book and from the first chapter I knew it was going to be a great read, I like how they ask the question can a crime writing couple get away with murder? it is such a fresh and original idea and it really works. The first half is a bit of a slow burner but do not be put off as the second half will blow you away, and you will never really know to to trust. I have not read any of Paul the author’s books but I will be from now on. I really enjoyed it.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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The Memory Box By Kathryn Hughes

The Memory Box By Kathryn Hughes

Jenny Tanner opens the box she has cherished for decades. Contained within are her most precious mementoes, amongst them a pebble, a carving and a newspaper cutting she can hardly bear to read. But Jenny knows the time is finally here. After the war, in a mountainside village in Italy, she left behind a piece of her heart. However painful, she must return to Cinque Alberi. And lay the past to rest.

After a troubled upbringing, Candice Barnes dreams of a future with the love of her life – but is he the man she believes him to be? When Candice is given the opportunity to travel to Italy with Jenny, she is unaware the trip will open her eyes to the truth she’s been too afraid to face. Could a place of goodbyes help her make a brave new beginning?

My Thoughts:

I have only read a couple of Kathryn’s books and always ask myself why I don’t read more of her books as they are really good reads. This story we get transported from 2019 back to 1940, I like reading some books that are set in that era as it is interesting to find out what life was like then. This story involves Jenny who now is 100 years old and lives in a residential home. Her carer is Candice who loves looking after Jenny and hearing about her life. When Jenny tells Candice that she would love to visit Italy to pay her respects we see Jenny flitting to the past and we hear her story about why she wants to go to Italy. Meanwhile we also hear Candice’s story and the two run alongside each other but also intertwine. I think the story had a great pace and it kept me captivated reading Jenny’s story, I hoped she would make it in time to go to Italy and be at peace. I like how the chapters are different years and either Jenny or Candice. There are also a couple of twists that I was not expecting that seemed to come out of nowhere but brilliantly written in. It was such a good story one that has impacted on me and one that I will not forget. I look forward to Kathryn’s next book but in the mean time I will catch up and read her previous novels as I feel as though I am missing out on another great read.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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The 12 Days of Christmas By Poppy Alexander

The 12 Days of Christmas By Poppy Alexander

The most magical time of the year…

For the first time in ten years, Freya is back in the little village of Middlemass for Christmas. The streets might be twinkling with fairy lights, but after the recent loss of her mother, she’s never felt less festive.

Forced to sleep under the same roof as her handsome neighbour Finn, Freya realises she’s going to need a distraction – fast! So she sets herself a challenge: to cook the ’12 Days of Christmas’. Her delicious food soon brings the villagers together, and as each day passes, old friendships are renewed, memories stirred and there’s even the flickering of romance…

She was only meant to stay for the holidays, but could Middlemass – and Finn – steal her heart forever?

My Thoughts:

I would compare this book to a warm hug, it was cosy, comforting and festive but most of all it is centered around food. Not just any food but Christmas food. It was such a lovely read to dip in to and I wanted to devour the whole thing and the food staright away, but took my time as I knew I was going to enjoy the story and I really did. Poppy sets the scene in Middlemass a little village that is tucked away and we see Freya who has returned because of a loss in the family. She is grieving and lonely and needs a distraction and that comes in the form of Finn and some cooking too. I loved the idea of cooking the 12 days of Christmas, all the food Freya makes sounds delicious, I couldn’t stop my mouth from watering. Can Finn help Freya to open up? might there be a little festive magic for them both? who knows. I also enjoyed the recipes at the back of this book and I am going to try my hand at them too.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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The Hideout By Camilla Grebe

The Hideout By Camilla Grebe

After eighteen-year-old Samuel finds himself in the middle of a drug deal gone wrong, he is forced to leave home in a hurry. Heading south, he finds refuge in a sleepy coastal town, working as a live-in assistant to the son of a wealthy family.

When the body of a young man washes up in Stockholm’s southern archipelago, investigator Manfred Olsson is called in to work the case. With his two-year-old daughter in a coma, he is reluctant to leave her bedside – but once another body is discovered, his search for the killer intensifies.

As Samuel adjusts to life under the radar, he begins to feel safe, even with a gang out for blood and the police on his trail. But it isn’t long before he realises that his sanctuary may be home to a deadly secret.

My Thoughts:

I have enjoyed Camilla’s books in the past so was looking forward to reading this one. I found it a tense and eerie thriller that made me have goose bumps throughout. The story is full of suspense and you never really know which way the story is going to lead. Samuel is going through a lot as a teenager, he is caught up in stuff that really is bad, so when he has to flee his home he manages to find a place where no one knows him and works as a live in assistant for a family. Manfred is an investigator and is investigating a murder but his mind and heart is not really in what with his little girl lying in hospital in a coma. It is kind of two stories in one and we see how they intertwine throughout the story. It was a very interesting and tense story, it was definitely a mystery as to what would happen. I enjoyed it none the less.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

Get your copy here:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1838774351/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=echoesinanemp-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1838774351&linkId=34e3e9dec9af7e4642c83e4e0b63bf9e

How To Live In The Country By Tom Hodgkinson

How To Live In The Country By Tom Hodgkinson

As lockdown has caused us all to revaluate our lives, becoming more self-reliant and living in closer harmony with nature have emerged as important priorities. Many of us have decided to up sticks and leave the city behind for a less frenetic existence in the country. Whether you’ve already made the move, or are dreaming of doing so one day, this is the book for you.

Covering bee-keeping, poultry rearing, pig farming, bread baking, wood-chopping, fire-laying, bartering and much more, How to Live in the Country is the perfect source of inspiration for old hands and beginners alike: useful, informative but also refreshingly honest and realistic.

My Thoughts:

I loved reading this book, it was something a little different from my usual reads but I really enjoyed it. I have always wanted to live in the Country and hopefully one day I will, this book has inspired me to go and live my dream. There are all different chapters on a number of different things to do with living in the country, they are all what to do in the different months. It is a very detailed and informative book, one I really enjoyed reading and felt as though I learnt a lot from.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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The Pact By Sharon Bolton

The Pact By Sharon Bolton

A golden summer, and six talented friends are looking forward to the brightest of futures – until a daredevil game goes horribly wrong, and a woman and two children are killed.

18-year-old Megan takes the blame, leaving the others free to get on with their lives. In return, they each agree to a ‘favour’, payable on her release from prison.

Twenty years later Megan is free.
Let the games begin . . .

My Thoughts:

I liked the sound of the plot and I have read Sharon’s previous books and enjoyed them, six friends with their whole lives ahead of them, decide to play a game which goes horribly wrong, none of them want to take the blame so when Megan says she will, the others are concerned. But Megan has ideas of her own and she will only do it for when she gets out of prison each friend has to do her a favour. Twenty years later and Megan is out, but what is she going to demand from her so called friends. I liked the way the story flowed through out, you knew what was coming but at the same time was a little unsure if the story was going to go how you predicted. The second half is a lot better than the first half, mostly when Megan comes out of prison and what happens next. It is a very dark read that will pull you in and won’t let you out until the very last page.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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Her Perfect Family By Teresa Driscoll

Her Perfect Family By Teresa Driscoll

It’s their daughter’s graduation and Rachel and Ed Hartley are expecting it to be one of their family’s happiest days. But when she stumbles and falls on stage during the ceremony, a beautiful moment turns to chaos: Gemma has been shot, and just like that, she’s fighting for her life.

PI Matthew Hill is one of the first on the scene. A cryptic message Gemma received earlier in the day suggests someone close to her was about to be exposed. But who? As Matthew starts to investigate, he finds more and more layers obscuring the truth. He even begins to suspect the Hartleys are hiding something big—from him and from each other.

While Gemma lies in hospital in a coma, her would-be killer is still out there. Can Matthew unravel the family’s secrets before the attacker strikes again?

My Thoughts:

I found this a great thriller which is action packed right from the beginning of the story. At a graduation Rachel and Ed’s daughter Gemma is up on stage when she is shot, the story is all about the police and how they are trying to find the suspect who did this. I like how the author has written each chapter as a different character so we can see all the different views, it makes it more interesting, but also I like how it is not each person’s name, it will say the private investigator for example. It made it easier for me which I liked. I liked how deep we got with each of the characters and how many twists there were through out the story. The other part to the story was the mother and daughter bond and the love that they have for each other reminded me how close me and my mum are. It was lovely to see. I would certainly recommend this book for anyone looking out for a really good thriller.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

Get your copy here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08N5YFL78/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=echoesinanemp-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B08N5YFL78&linkId=3d2ea7c3a1707f763cf2d3b24735b1c4

Without a Trace By Jane Bettany

Without a Trace By Jane Bettany

You can cover up the truth, but every murder leaves a trail…

The rain was relentless. It stung Ruth Prendergast’s face as she dashed towards her house, desperate to escape the cold and settle down for an early night. But upon entering her bedroom, she finds a man, lying on her bed – a knife buried in his chest.

When Detective Isabel Blood and her sergeant arrive on the scene, Ruth claims she’s never laid eyes on the victim before. But with no sign of a break-in, how did the killer gain access to the house?

Then Ruth disappears, leaving Isabel and her team to fear the worst. Has their lead suspect escaped, or is Ruth in danger herself?

Forensic evidence at the crime scene is sparse, and it’s proving impossible for Isabel to make a breakthrough. With Ruth still missing, time is running out.

But how can you catch a killer that doesn’t leave a trace?

My Thoughts:

This was such a brilliant whodunit thriller that I didn’t want to put down. I picked it up in the morning and by lunchtime I was finished. I liked the idea of the story and the police procedural really had me intrigued. I liked getting to know Isabel Blood the Detective and finding out a bit about her, I reckon the series is going to be very popular. When Ruth gets home to find a man dead in her bed, the question on her lips is who is he and what was he doing there? she doesn’t know him, but when the police start to investigate Ruth goes missing but why? can Detective Isabel Blood work out what went on here and where Ruth has gone? It had a gripping pace the whole way through and is full of interesting characters and lots of suspense. You never really know who to trust. This is Jane’s first book and I cannot wait to read the next one as this one was incredible.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

Get your copy here:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B09GV3WS1Q/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=echoesinanemp-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B09GV3WS1Q&linkId=0b9a2e64ab1afc185d788b54dab0dd00

Call The Vet By Bruce Fogle

Call The Vet By Bruce Fogle

Arriving in 1970s’ London as a fresh-faced Canadian, Bruce Fogle assumed that because he knew the language, he would understand the English. As a graduate of the world’s best veterinary school, he also thought his profession would come naturally to him. He quickly learned not to make assumptions…

Bruce began his career at the prestigious Woodrow & Singleton surgery in the heart of the Knightsbridge. Frequented by Britain’s most distinguished pet owners, from Duchesses and Sultans to Paul McCartney and Elizabeth Taylor, it also cared for the exotic inhabitants of the Harrods’ ‘Zoo Department.’

Over the next few years, an arc of clients would cross Bruce’s table, from cats and dogs to alligators, pumas and even a capuchin monkey. Each adventure taught Bruce far more than any textbook ever could, while skilful veterinary nurses provided the greatest lessons of all.

My Thoughts:

I love reading books like this that are all about animals. Bruce Fogle is a vet in the 1970’s and this book is stories that he has shared with his readers as his time as a vet back then. I found it really interesting reading about Harrods department store and all the exotic animals they used to sell. I love the way the stories are all written, and there are some sad stories but also funny ones too. Bruce is actually Ben Fogle’s dad who I have followed for a long time and love watching him on Longleat, so I was excited to read about his dad’s life. I felt with this book that I got swept along with the stories and didn’t want to leave, I loved seeing the bond some pets have with their owners as a pet owner myself I can fully understand where some of Bruce’s clients were coming from. It was just a wholesome read.

I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.

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