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Recommended by Book Chat

New Book Chat Picks

Flaxmere Library Book Chat whole-heartedly recommend these books recently discussed at their fortnightly meetings. Click on each title for a link to the catalogue.

Nothing Bad Happens Here by Nikki Crutchley
No one could have guessed the small Coromandel town of Castle Bay would be the site of a terrible murder. As journalists descend determined on a news scoop, more secrets are dragged up, the plot cranking up a gear when another woman goes missing. Miller Hatcher, a journalist with her own issues, is on the job, eager to make the most of the story. Nice to read a story set in New Zealand and a brilliant example of Kiwi Noir.

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
This author always seems to come up with wonderfully atmospheric settings, perfect for suspense. Here the apartment of the title is where down on her luck Jess turns up to stay with her brother, Ben, a journalist. Jess wonders how her brother can afford such an expensive apartment but more worrying is the fact that Ben has disappeared. Once she’s found a way in – it’s handy she can pick locks – Jess sets about finding Ben, interviewing the secretive and unwelcoming neighbours. But is Jess now in danger too? A page-turning read with plenty of twists.

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory
This novel shows Elizabeth I as something of a paranoid tyrant, weaving a story around the lives of the sisters of Lady Jane Grey, Queen of England for nine days before she was put to death by Queen Mary, Elizabeth’s older sister. Katherine Grey is determined to find love and happiness, but is sent to the tower when she falls pregnant and threatens to supply another royal heir. Her younger sister, Mary Grey, the last Tudor, is disregarded as she’s a dwarf, but is determined none the less to rule her own destiny. A gripping historical read, a story both fascinating and horrendous.

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
This is the second book in the best-selling Thursday Murder Club series. It sees our team of retirement home sleuths on the hunt for a murderer once more. It all starts when an old colleague of Elizabeth’s requests her help. There’s stolen diamonds and a mobster out for revenge. Can the club get to the truth before the killer knocks them out of the equation too. A fun and well-written cosy mystery.

The Seamstress of Warsaw by Rebecca Mascull
Another book with evocative settings, from bombed out London to occupied Warsaw to the Polish forests, hide-outs of the partisans. The story is told from two perspectives: a mother caught up in the Warsaw ghetto and Daniel, a Londoner who travels to Warsaw to uncover a family secret. This is an engrossing, emotional roller-coaster of a read that is a hymn to the human spirit, its determination and ability to endure. Our reader enjoyed this as an e-audiobook downloaded from the library on Overdrive.

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
In this story following two couples, we begin with Ira, who at ninety is the victim of a car accident. With his life hanging in the balance, he sees his late wife Ruth who encourages him to hang in there, recounting the story of their life together. Then we meet Sophie a student who falls for a young cowboy, Luke. The two couples’ lives converge in unexpected ways. Sparks writes poignant, heart-felt stories about the decisions we make that change our lives. This is no exception and includes a surprise plot twist.

The Hiding Place by Amanda Mason
Things that go bump in the night feature in this story about what happens when a young family rent a holiday cottage by the sea. The house gives Nell the heebie-jeebies while her twelve-year-old daughter Maude resents having to holiday here with her parents. A hiding place discloses a strange object and the house slowly gives up its secrets. Maude becomes enthralled, but danger lurks in this spooky, atmospheric novel.

A Game of Fear by Charles Todd
This is the latest in Todd’s popular Inspector Rutledge series, about a haunted Scotland Yard detective in the years following World War I. In this outing, Rutledge has to investigate a murder with no body and a killer who can only be a ghost. Todd throws in the evocative setting of a sea-side village on the Essex coast, where a grieving widow claims she’s witnessed a murder, recognising the killer – an officer who died in the war. Has grief turned the woman’s mind? Rutledge finds the woman coherent and logical so something’s definitely afoot. Good old-fashioned storytelling says our reader.

16 June 2022

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