The Lamplighters

Title: The Lamplighters Writer: Emma Stonex Publishing House: Pan MacMillan Date of Publication: March 4th 2021 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Today it’s soundless. Jory knows loud seas and silent seas, heavy seas and mirror seas, seas where your boat feels like the last blink of humankind on a roll so determined and angry that you believe…

Circus of Wonders

Title: Circus of Wonders Writer: Elizabeth Macneal Publishing House: Pan Macmillan Date of Publication: May 13th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Have a long look, why don’t you?’’ Nell is unique, graced with a special kind of beauty. But the others cannot understand, they think she is an abomination, a cursed creature, lower than the low….

John Lennon (Little People, BIG dreams)

Title: John Lennon (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (illustrated by Octavia Bromell) Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: December 8th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections.’’      John Lennon Liverpool, October 9th 1940. A boy is…

Captain Tom Moore (Little People, BIG Dreams)

Title: Captain Tom Moore (Little People, Big Dreams) Writer: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara (illustrated by Christophe Jacques) Publishing House: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books Date of Publication: September 29th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’We’ve fought so many battles and we’ve always won, and we’re going to win again. Please remember tomorrow is a good day and…

Open Water

Title: Open Water Writer: Caleb Azumah Nelson Publishing House: Grove Press Date of Publication: April 13th 2021 (first published February 4th 2021) Rating: 5 stars ‘’You came here to speak of shame and its relation to desire. There should be no shame in openly saying, I want this. There should be no shame in not knowing…

Girl, Woman, Other

Title: Girl, Woman, Other Writer: Bernardine Evaristo Publishing House: Hamish Hamilton Date of Publication: May 2nd 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Amma is walking along the promenade if the waterway that bisects her city, a few early morning barges cruise slowly by, to her left is the nautical-themes footbridge with its deck-like walkway and sailing mast…

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

Title: Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times Writer: Katherine May Publishing House: Riverhead Books Date of Publication: November 10th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’There are gaps in the mesh of the everyday world, and sometimes they open up and you fall through them into somewhere else. Somewhere Else runs at a…

Thames Mudlarking

Title: Thames Mudlarking Writer: Jason Sandy, Nick Stevens Publishing House: Osprey Publishing Date of Publication:  April 20th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Without the River Thames, London would not exist.’’ Mudlarking and London’s past and present. There is an unbreakable bond between the great metropolis and the mudlarkers who bring the treasures of bygone eras to…

Midwinter Murder: Fireside Tales

Title: Midwinter Murder Writer: Agatha Christie Publishing House: William Morrow Paperbacks Date of Publication: October 20th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It was nearly dark. The house felt suddenly very quiet and empty. It was a lonely house, two miles from a village, two miles, as Molly put it, from anywhere. She had often been alone…

The Santa Klaus Murder

Title: The Santa Klaus Murder Writer: Mavis Doriel Hay Publishing House: The British Library Date of Publication: October 1st 2015 (first published 1936) Rating: 5 stars “I have often found that the best way to persuade anyone to do something they suspect is to explain that they really need not do it.”  Sir Osmond Melbury,…

Mystery In White

Title: Mystery In White Writer: J. Jefferson Farjeon Publishing House: British Library Crime Classics Date of Publication: September 28th 2014 (first published 1937) Rating: 5 stars ‘’The horrors on the train, great though as it may turn to be, will not compete with the horror that exists here, in this house.’’ It is Christmas Eve…

Murder at Christmas

Title: Murder at Christmas Writer: Various edited by Cecily Gayford Publishing House: Profile Books Date of Publication: November 7th 2019 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Murder under the mistletoe – and the man who must have done it couldn’t have done it. That’s my Christmas and I don’t feel merry, thank you very much all the same.’’…

The Hatmakers

Title: The Hatmakers Writer: Tamzin Merchant, illustrated by Paola Escobar Publishing House: Norton Young Readers Date of Publication: January 7th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It was a wild and lightning-struck night. The kind of night that changes everything. Jagged forks of light ripped across the sky and thunder rolled in tidal waves over the rooftops…

Silent Nights

Title: Silent Nights: Christmas Mysteries Writer: Various edited by Martin Edwards Publishing House: British Library Crime Classics Date of Publication: October 1st 2015  Rating: 5 stars ‘’When television becomes tiresome, and party games pall, the prospect of curling up in the warm with a good mystery is enticing – and much better for the digestion…

The Twelve Strange Days of Christmas

Title: The Twelve Strange Days of Christmas Writer: Syd Moore Publishing House: Oneworld Publications Date of Publication: October 3rd 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Draw in close, throw another log on the fire if you will. It’s a chill night. I shall just add some of that coal. Now, this may take quite a while so…

Spirits of the Season: Christmas Hauntings

Title: Spirits of the Season: Christmas Hauntings Writer: Tanya Kirk Publishing House: British Library Date of Publication: August 1st 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The second Mrs. Ryder was a young woman not easily frightened, but now she stood in the dusk of the passage leaning back against the wall, her hand on her heart, looking…

Classic Ghost Stories

Title: Classic Ghost Stories Writer: Various Publishing House: Vintage Classics Date of Publication: October 12th 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’If the picture within was bright and cheerful, the prospect was dreary enough without. The fairy forest of snow-wreathed trees, the white valleys and undulating banks of snow had vanished, and the rain dropped slowly and…

To Be Read at Dusk

Title: To Be Read at Dusk Writer: Charles Dickens Publishing House: Penguin Little Black Classics Date of Publication: March 3rd 2016 (first published 1852) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Τhe monstrous thought came into my mind as I perused the fixed eyes and the saturnine face, that this was a spirit, not a man.’’ Charles Dickens. The…

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

Title: The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock Writer: Imogen Hermes Gowar Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication: January 24th 2019 (first published January 25th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Somewhere a tide is turning. In that place where no land can be seen, where horizon to horizon is spanned by shifting twinkling faithless water, a wave humps…

The Dante Chamber

Title: The Dante Chamber Writer: Matthew Pearl Publishing House: Penguin Press Date of Publication:May 29th 2018 Rating: 3 stars ‘’A poet never sees ghosts.’’ London, 1869. The metropolis is buzzing in its heyday. The glamorous Victorian court, the elegant literary circles, the world that changes. And right there, visible to all, yet unacknowledged by the…