Book Review

Summer Book Reviews – Part 1

For the first few months of the year, I was powering my way towards my Goodreads target of 50 novels read in 2019. However, when we discovered I was pregnant at Easter after a long struggle to conceive, I spent so much  time stressing about making it to the 12 week scan that I just couldn’t settle to a single book until I had a fortnight’s holiday after passing the three month mark.

I got through a heap of books while on leave but have since procrastinated like mad on actually reviewing them. As there are 10 to review, I’m going to do two posts of short wee reviews rather than detailed ones. Now if I can only find the motivation to continue reading again.

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Book Review

Book Review: Mauritius Command by Patrick O’Brian

Naval fiction seems to be the theme for all my April reads so far, though this wasn’t a deliberate choice! I’ve been so enjoying this second circumnavigation of Patrick O’Brian’s  masterly series that Mauritius Command wound up jumping a few places up on my reading list. Book four in the series takes place a few years after the events of HMS Surprise and is based on the very real Mauritius campaign of 1810, putting our two protagonists right at the centre of it.

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Book Review

Book Review: Mr Midshipman Hornblower by C.S. Forester

After last month’s series of Revolutionary/Napoleonic-era biographies, it was back to historical fiction for me as April opened. It’s been a long time since I read the Hornblower books – I think it must have been something like 2005 originally – and I took a notion this week that I wanted to go through both the novels and TV series again.

Although Mr Midshipman Hornblower was not the first book C.S. Forester wrote chronologically to feature the character, it is the book wherein Horatio Hornblower’s career in the navy first begins.

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Book Review, History

Book Review: HMS Surprise by Patrick O’Brian

After enjoying Post Captain so much, I couldn’t really wait to get stuck into HMS Surprise, the third in Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series. It proved to be another excellent piece of Napoleonic naval fiction; rich in action and personal drama alike.

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Book Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Master & Commander by Patrick O’Brian

Master & Commander has been the first of my 2018 books to be a reread rather than a first-time read. I can’t recall when I first read the novel, though I know it was before I left home for uni, but I do think I was a bit too young to really appreciate some of the nuance in it.

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Book Review

Book Review: Lady Helena Investigates by Jane Steen

LADY HELENA INVESTIGATES
BY JANE STEEN

Publication Date: March 14, 2018
Aspidistra Press
eBook; 359 Pages
ASIN: B079SMGC7S

Series: Scott-De Quincy Mysteries, Book One
Genre: Historical Mystery

A reluctant lady sleuth finds she’s investigating her own family.

Step into Lady Helena Whitcombe’s world with the first novel in a series that will blend family saga and mystery-driven action with a slow-burn romance in seven unputdownable investigations.

1881, Sussex. Lady Helena Scott-De Quincy’s marriage to Sir Justin Whitcombe, three years before, gave new purpose to a life almost destroyed by the death of Lady Helena’s first love. After all, shouldn’t the preoccupations of a wife and hostess be sufficient to fulfil any aristocratic female’s dreams? Such a shame their union wasn’t blessed by children . . . but Lady Helena is content with her quiet country life until Sir Justin is found dead in the river overlooked by their grand baroque mansion.

The intrusion of attractive, mysterious French physician Armand Fortier, with his meddling theory of murder, into Lady Helena’s first weeks of mourning is bad enough. But with her initial ineffective efforts at investigation and her attempts to revive her long-abandoned interest in herbalism comes the realization that she may have been mistaken about her own family’s past. Every family has its secrets—but as this absorbing series will reveal, the Scott-De Quincy family has more than most.

Can Lady Helena survive bereavement the second time around? Can she stand up to her six siblings’ assumption of the right to control her new life as a widow? And what role will Fortier—who, as a physician, is a most unsuitable companion for an earl’s daughter—play in her investigations?

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