It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundaySalon #SundayPost

 

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

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I’m still leading the hermit life because cases continue to grow in our area, even though they’ve dropped statewide, and my three younger children still have another week before they get their second vax. The boys are back at school though, and Aleah has her first year finals starting next Monday.

This week I’m planning to get organised for #NonFicNov, will you be taking part? You can find the schedule and details at any of the hosts blogs. (I’ve linked the image below to Week 1 host What’s Nonfiction?

 

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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Birds of a Feather by Tricia Stringer

I Shot the Devil by Ruth McIvers

Outback Secrets by Rachael Johns

Who Sleuthed It? Edited by Lindy Cameron

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New Posts…

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Review: Treasure & Dirt by Chris Hammer

Review: The Tea Ladies of St Jude’s Hospital by Joanna Nell

Review: Before & Laughter by Jimmy Carr

Review: Birds of a Feather by Tricia Stringer

Bookshelf Bounty

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

 

In the summer of 1989, a local teen goes missing from the idyllic suburb of Camp Hill in Australia. As rumours of Satanic rituals swirl, schoolteacher Tom Witter becomes convinced he holds the key to the disappearance. When the police won t listen, he takes matters into his own hands with the help of the missing girl s father and a local neighbourhood watch group.

But as dark secrets are revealed and consequences to past actions are faced, Tom learns that the only way out of the darkness is to walk deeper into it. Wild Place peels back the layers of suburbia, exposing what s hidden underneath guilt, desperation, violence and attempts to answer the question: Why do good people do bad things?

From the international bestseller Christian White, Wild Place is a white-knuckle descent into a street near you.

 

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Award-winning novelist and nature writer Inga Simpson terrifies and enthralls with this truly remarkable novel of a woman who must face her worst fears to survive and find beauty in a world under attack.

Fear is her cage. But what’s outside is worse…

It’s night, and dust swirls against the walls of Rachel’s home in the Australian bush. Her fear of other people has led her to a reclusive life as far from them as possible, her only occasional contact with her sister.

A hammering on the door. There stand a mother, Hannah, and her sick baby. They are running for their lives from a mysterious death sweeping the Australian countryside – so soon, too soon, after everything.

Now Rachel must face her worst fears to help Hannah, search for her sister, and discover just what terror was born of us. . . and how to survive it.

 

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Back after suspension, Detective Sergeant Robert Cardilini just wants to get on with the job. But his bosses have other ideas and partner him with an eager, young detective named Lorraine Spencer. To make matters worse, the pair are tasked with solving domestic violence cases. Cardilini thinks it’s a waste of time: without the support of the courts, the police are hamstrung. Spencer knows better.

When they find a young woman bleeding and tied to a chair in a suburban kitchen, they chalk it up as another hopeless case. But as they start investigating, they realise the woman is a willing participant in a sinister game of exploitation run by the highest echelons of business and government.

Desperate to unravel the mystery and shake up the system, Spencer goes out on a limb. But will her partner support her, or will she be thrown to the wolves?

 

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A fossil discovered at London’s Natural History Museum leads one woman back in time to nineteenth century Australia and a world of scientific discovery and dark secrets in this compelling historical mystery.

Wollombi, The Hunter Valley

1847

The last thing Mellie Vale remembers before the fever takes her is running through the bush as a monster chases her – but no one believes her story. In a bid to curb Mellie’s overactive imagination, her benefactors send her to visit a family friend, Anthea Winstanley. Anthea is an amateur palaeontologist with a dream. She is convinced she will one day find proof the great sea dragons – the ichthyosaur and the plesiosaur – swam in the vast inland sea that millions of years ago covered her property at Bow Wow Gorge, and soon Mellie shares that dream for she loves fossil hunting too…

1919

When Penelope Jane Martindale arrives home from the battlefields of World War 1 with the intention of making her peace with her father and commemorating the death of her two younger brothers in the trenches, her reception is not as she had hoped. Looking for distraction, she finds a connection between a fossil at London’s Natural History museum and her brothers which leads her to Bow Wow Gorge. But the gorge has a sinister reputation – 70 years ago people disappeared. So when PJ uncovers some unexpected remains, it seems as if the past is reaching into the present and she becomes determined to discover what really happened all that time ago..

 

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance I’m reading #WildPlace #TheLastWomanIntheWorld #TheFinalCut #TheFossilHunter

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon



Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

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What I’ve Read Since I Last Posted…

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Treasure & Dirt by Chris Hammer

The Tea Ladies of St Jude’s by Joanna Nell

Before & Laughter by Jimmy Carr

Birds of a Feather by Tricia Stringer

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New Posts…

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Review: The River Mouth by Karen Herbert

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 


When Mim Squires and Mathias Vander are stranded together on a disrupted flight home to Perth, they are surprised to find that they have much in common. Mim owns a bookshop, Mathias is a writer, and both are at turning points in their lives. Mim’s childhood polio is taking a toll on her life. Mathias is contemplating a cross-continent move to be nearer his daughter.

But life back in Perth is not smooth sailing, with their respective family members going through their own upheavals. As Mim and Mathias both struggle to adjust to the challenges of being in their late seventies, secrets from the past that neither wishes to face rise to the surface, challenging their long-held beliefs in their independence and singularity.

At the end of the day, can they muster the wisdom and the courage they need to change?

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When a man is found savagely ‘crucified’ amidst a murky swamp in northern Australia, detective Dana Russo and her team are called to a shocking scene. The victim is a convicted rapist, just released from prison, who years earlier committed an atrocious crime yards from where he was killed.

Who murdered him – and why? With several potential leads, the investigation quickly becomes more complex, and sinister, than anyone imagined. And Dana realises she’ll have to confront her own troubled past to understand the true motives of the killer…

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Fingers and feelers and paws and wings,

Solving thrillers and chillers and secretive things!

In which animals help their animal friends, or human sidekicks, solve diabolical crimes and whimsical mysteries in 19 stories by Australian, American and Irish authors.

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Keeping secrets comes naturally to him … but will it ruin his chance at love?

Liam Castle knows the secrets of everyone in Bunyip Bay. As the owner of the pub, he’s heard it all – from marriage proposals and farming disasters to family rifts and everything in between. The locals love to confide in him, but no one knows he’s hiding a tragic past.

And he wants to keep it that way.

Agricultural pilot Henrietta Forward lives for her job, choosing work over romance. But when an incident in the air brings Henri home to Bunyip Bay earlier than planned, she finds herself questioning everything she believes about herself.

But Henri’s secret isn’t her only problem.

Her mother will stop at nothing to have her settled down back in the Bay, and while Henri had always known domesticity wasn’t the life for her, now she wonders what her future holds. So when Liam – always the first to lend a hand to those in need – agrees to play along with Henri’s scheme to ward off her mother, she has mixed feelings. What happens when a pretend romance starts to feel like the real thing?

Will Henri’s demons and Liam’s traumatic past prove too great a barrier to love?

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance I’m reading #AtTheEndoftheDay #Prisoner #WhoSleuthedIt? #OutbackSecrets

It’s Monday! What Are You Watching? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

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I’m late posting this week as I was making a desperate bid to catch up with writing and publishing reviews. Better late than never I guess.

After a snap lockdown implemented for my town this past week, a shock change in state leadership has meant that NSW has now blithely scrapped a bunch of Covid precautions, just as my region has recorded its first cases of the entire pandemic. One selfish freedumb idiot who traveled here from Sydney while infected has led to over 26 confirmed cases so far though the number is suspected to be higher as several of those have since been unwittingly active in the community, but the new premier is unconcerned and it’s infuriating!

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik

Larrimah by Caroline Graham & Kylie Stevenson

The Woman The Could Not Silence by Kate Moore

The River Mouth by Karen Herbert

Treasure & Dirt by Chris Hammer

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New Posts…

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Review: Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

Review: The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik

Review: Larrimah by Caroline Graham & Kylie Stevenson

Review: The Woman The Could Not Silence by Kate Moore

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 


The Marjorie Marshall Memorial Cafeteria has been serving refreshments and raising money at the hospital for over fifty years, long after anybody can remember who Marjorie Marshall actually was. Staffed by successive generations of dedicated volunteers, the beloved cafeteria is known as much for offering a kind word and sympathetic ear (and often unsolicited life advice) as for its tea and buns.

Stalwart Hilary has worked her way up through the ranks to Manageress; Joy has been late every day since she started as the cafeteria’s newest recruit. She doesn’t take her role as ‘the intern’ quite as seriously as Hilary would like but there’s no doubt she brings a welcome pop of personality. Seventeen-year-old Chloe, the daughter of two successful surgeons, is volunteering during the school holidays because her mother thinks it will look good on her CV.

Chloe is at first bewildered by the two older women but soon realises they have a lot in common, not least that each bears a secret pain. When they discover the cafeteria is under threat of closure, this unlikely trio must band together to save it.

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I used to think that I’d escaped Southport . . .

Now I realised, Southport had been coming for me all this time.

Erin Sloane was sixteen when high school senior Andre Villiers was murdered by his friends. They were her friends, too, led by the intense, charismatic Ricky Hell. Five people went into West Cypress Road Woods the night Andre was murdered. Only three came out.

Ativan, alcohol and distance had dimmed Erin’s memories of that time. But nearly twenty years later, an ageing father will bring her home. Now a journalist, she is asked to write a story about the Southport Three and the thrill-kill murder that mesmerised the country. Erin’s investigation propels her closer and closer to a terrifying truth. And closer and closer to danger.

An unforgettable story of murder, trauma and childhoods lost, I SHOT THE DEVIL is a taut, page-turning debut novel from an electrifying new talent.

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Who will find you when you lose your place in the world?

Full of practical wisdom, this heart-warming novel from a bestselling author celebrates finding help where you least expect it as well as the ties between women that can change – and save – lives.

Eve has been a partner in a Wallaby Bay fishing fleet as long as she can remember. Now they want her to sell – but what would her life be without work? She lives alone, her role on the town committee has been spiked by malicious gossip and she is incapacitated after surgery. For the first time in her life she feels weak, vulnerable – old.

When her troubled god-daughter Julia arrives at Wallaby Bay, she seems to offer Eve a reprieve from her own concerns. But there is no such thing as plain sailing. Eve has another house guest, the abrasive Lucy, who is helping her recuperate and does not look kindly on Julia’s desire for Eve’s attention.

But Lucy, too, has demons to battle and as each woman struggles to overcome their loss of place in the world, they start to realise that there may be more that holds them together, than keeps them apart.

But will these birds of feather truly be able to reinvent what family means? Or will the secrets and hurts of the past shatter their precarious hold on their new lives … and each other?

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In his mid-twenties, Jimmy was bored, boring, unfulfilled and underachieving. He wasn’t exactly depressed, but he was very sad. Think of a baby owl whose mum has recently died in a windmill accident. He was that sad. This book tells the story of how Jimmy turned it around and got happy, through the redemptive power of dick jokes.

Written to take advantage of the brief window between the end of lockdown and Jimmy getting cancelled for saying something unforgivable to Lorraine Kelly, this book is as timely as it is unnecessary.

Because you might be interested in Jimmy’s life but he’s damn sure you’re a lot more interested in your own, Before & Laughter is about both of you. But mainly him. It tells the story of Jimmy’s life – the transformation from white-collar corporate drone to fake-toothed donkey-laugh plastic-haired comedy mannequin – while also explaining how to turn your own life around and become the you you’ve always dreamt of being. At just 20, it’s cheaper than Scientology, quicker than therapy, and significantly less boring than church.

Before & Laughter contains the answers to all the big questions in life, questions like:

What’s the secret to happiness?

Is Jimmy wearing a wig?

What happened with that tax thing?

What’s the meaning of life?

Is Jimmy’s laugh real?

Can those teeth bite through vibranium?

And for readers in the West Country: yes, there are pictures (actually, sorry, there are no pictures, but there’s a book about a hungry caterpillar you’ll love).

Because it’s Jimmy Carr – recently scientifically proved to be the funniest comedian in the UK – there are jokes, jokes and more jokes throughout. If laughter really was the best medicine, the NHS would be handing out this book in Nightingale Hospitals.

Fascinating, thoughtful and insightful – are all words that appear in the book

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance I’m reading #TheTeaLadiesofStJudesHospital #BirdsofaFeather #Before&Laughter #IShottheDevil

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

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October already!? Though YAY for the start of daylight savings, I love the extra hour of sunlight in the evening, the end of the year is not that far away.

This month I’m planning to focus on catching up on review books I haven’t had time for during the year, there’s…well…a lot. It should mean I’m then ready for Nonfiction November, because I have quite the reading list. Speaking of nonfiction…

I’ve been considering plans for next years Nonfiction Reader Challenge, and I think I’m going to make it more inclusive. For those who want to be pushed out of their comfort zone, the three tier category challenge will remain, but there will also be a fourth option for the casual nonfiction reader, so they can participate without any real pressure, by reading what they want. I hope you will be joining me in ‘22.

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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The Moon, the Stars and Madame Burova by Ruth Hogan

The Whale in the Living Room by John Ruthven

Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik

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New Posts…

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Review: The Unusual Abduction of Avery Conifer by Ilsa Evans

Review: The Moon, the Stars and Madame Burova by Ruth Hogan

Review: The Whale in the Living Room by John Ruthven

2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #9

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

A dying town, a missing man. One of Australia’s greatest mysteries – two whodunnits, twisted together.

Larrimah: hot, barren, a speck of dust in the centre of the nothingness of outback Australia. Where you might find a death adder in the bar and a spider or ten in the toaster. Maybe it’s stupid to write a love letter to a town that looks like this, especially when it’s someone else’s town. A town where there’s nothing to see, nothing to buy and the closest thing to an attraction is a weird Pink Panther in a gyrocopter whose head falls off intermittently. A town steeped in ancient superstition and pockmarked with sinkholes. It’s Kadaitja country. People go missing in the bush there, the traditional owners say.

It’s doubly stupid to write a love letter to a town where someone did go missing and one of the remaining residents might be a murderer. A town at the centre of one of the biggest mysteries outback Australia has ever seen – a weird, swirling whodunnit about camel pies and wild donkeys and drug deals and crocodiles, a case that’s had police scratching their heads for years, while journalists and filmmakers and Hollywood turn up, from time to time, to ask what the hell happened here.

And it makes no sense to fall for a place when the town is crumbling into the dust and it looks a lot like your love letter might end up being a eulogy. But whatever happened in Larrimah, it’s strange and precious and surprisingly funny. Journalists Kylie Stevenson and Caroline Graham have spent years trying to pin it down – what happened to Paddy Moriarty and his dog, how they disappeared, how they might take the whole town and something even bigger with them.

xxxxxxx

 

The tale of a forgotten woman whose journey sparked lasting change for women’s rights and exposed injustices that still resonate today.

Elizabeth Packard was an ordinary Victorian housewife and mother of six. That was, until the first Woman’s Rights Convention was held in 1848, inspiring Elizabeth and many other women to dream of greater freedoms. She began voicing her opinions on politics and religion — opinions that her husband did not share. Incensed and deeply threatened by her growing independence, he had her declared ‘slightly insane’ and committed to an asylum.

Inside the Illinois State Hospital, Elizabeth found many other perfectly lucid women who, like her, had been betrayed by their husbands and incarcerated for daring to have a voice. But just because you are sane, doesn’t mean that you can escape a madhouse …

Fighting the stigma of her gender and her supposed madness, Elizabeth embarked on a ceaseless quest for justice. It not only challenged the medical science of the day and saved untold others from suffering her fate, it ultimately led to a giant leap forward in human rights the world over.

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In the desolate outback town of Finnigans Gap, police struggle to maintain law and order. Thieves pillage opal mines, religious fanatics recruit vulnerable young people and billionaires do as they please.

Then an opal miner is found crucified and left to rot down his mine. Nothing about the miner’s death is straightforward, not even who found the body. Sydney homicide detective Ivan Lucic is sent to investigate, assisted by inexperienced young investigator Nell Buchanan.

But Finnigans Gap has already ended one police career and damaged others, and soon both officers face damning allegations and internal investigations. Have Ivan and Nell been set up and, if so, by whom?

As time runs out, their only chance at redemption is to find the killer. But the more secrets they uncover, the more harrowing the mystery becomes, as events from years ago take on a startling new significance.

For in Finnigans Gap, opals, bodies and secrets don’t stay buried for ever.

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Fifteen-year-old Darren Davies is found facedown in the Weymouth River with a gunshot wound to his chest. The killer is never found. Ten years later, his mother receives a visit from the local police. Sandra’s best friend has been found dead on a remote Pilbara road, and Barbara’s DNA matches the DNA found under Darren’s fingernails. When the investigation into her son’s murder is reopened, Sandra begins to question what she knew about her best friend. As she digs, she discovers that there are many secrets in her small town, and that her murdered son had secrets too.

 

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance I’m reading #TheRiverMouth #Treasure&Dirt #Larrimah #TheWomanTheyCouldNotSilence

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

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It’s the last Monday of the month, so time check in with my challenge progress

 

Nonfiction Reader Challenge 6/12

Australian Women Writers Challenge 63/50

Aussie Author Challenge 21/24

Historical Fiction Challenge  17/25

Books In Translation Challenge 2/4

What’s in a Name Challenge 5/6

Cloak and Dagger Challenge 42/25


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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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The Library by Bella Osborne

The Unusual Abduction of Avery Conifer by Ilsa Evans

The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa

The Moon, the stars and Madame Burova by Ruth Hogan

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New Posts…

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Review: The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

Review: The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa

Review: The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

Review: The Library by Bella Osborne

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 

A budding dark sorceress determined not to use her formidable powers uncovers yet more secrets about the workings of her world in the stunning sequel to A Deadly Education, the start of Naomi Novik’s groundbreaking crossover series.

At the Scholomance, El, Orion, and the other students are faced with their final year—and the looming specter of graduation, a deadly ritual that leaves few students alive in its wake. El is determined that her chosen group will survive, but it is a prospect that is looking harder by the day as the savagery of the school ramps up. Until El realizes that sometimes winning the game means throwing out all the rules . .

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The tale of a forgotten woman whose journey sparked lasting change for women’s rights and exposed injustices that still resonate today.

Elizabeth Packard was an ordinary Victorian housewife and mother of six. That was, until the first Woman’s Rights Convention was held in 1848, inspiring Elizabeth and many other women to dream of greater freedoms. She began voicing her opinions on politics and religion — opinions that her husband did not share. Incensed and deeply threatened by her growing independence, he had her declared ‘slightly insane’ and committed to an asylum.

Inside the Illinois State Hospital, Elizabeth found many other perfectly lucid women who, like her, had been betrayed by their husbands and incarcerated for daring to have a voice. But just because you are sane, doesn’t mean that you can escape a madhouse …

Fighting the stigma of her gender and her supposed madness, Elizabeth embarked on a ceaseless quest for justice. It not only challenged the medical science of the day and saved untold others from suffering her fate, it ultimately led to a giant leap forward in human rights the world over.

xxxxxxx

 

A dying town, a missing man. One of Australia’s greatest mysteries – two whodunnits, twisted together.

Larrimah: hot, barren, a speck of dust in the centre of the nothingness of outback Australia. Where you might find a death adder in the bar and a spider or ten in the toaster. Maybe it’s stupid to write a love letter to a town that looks like this, especially when it’s someone else’s town. A town where there’s nothing to see, nothing to buy and the closest thing to an attraction is a weird Pink Panther in a gyrocopter whose head falls off intermittently. A town steeped in ancient superstition and pockmarked with sinkholes. It’s Kadaitja country. People go missing in the bush there, the traditional owners say.

It’s doubly stupid to write a love letter to a town where someone did go missing and one of the remaining residents might be a murderer. A town at the centre of one of the biggest mysteries outback Australia has ever seen – a weird, swirling whodunnit about camel pies and wild donkeys and drug deals and crocodiles, a case that’s had police scratching their heads for years, while journalists and filmmakers and Hollywood turn up, from time to time, to ask what the hell happened here.

And it makes no sense to fall for a place when the town is crumbling into the dust and it looks a lot like your love letter might end up being a eulogy. But whatever happened in Larrimah, it’s strange and precious and surprisingly funny. Journalists Kylie Stevenson and Caroline Graham have spent years trying to pin it down – what happened to Paddy Moriarty and his dog, how they disappeared, how they might take the whole town and something even bigger with them.

———————————————

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance I’m reading #The Last Graduate #TheWomanTheyCouldNotSilence #Larrimah

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

 

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Life…

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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See Jane Snap by Bethany Crandell

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

The Library by Bella Osborne

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New Posts…

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Australia Reads 2021

Review: The Housemate by Sarah Bailey

Review: Sweet Jimmy by Bryan Brown

Review: See Jane Snap by Bethany Crandell

Bookshelf Bounty

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 


Bookish high school student Rintaro Natsuki is about to close the secondhand bookshop he inherited from his beloved grandfather. Then, a talking cat named Tiger appears with an unusual request. The cat needs Rintaro’s help to save books that have been imprisoned, destroyed and unloved.

Their mission sends this odd couple on an amazing journey, where they enter different labyrinths to set books free. Through their travels, Tiger and Rintaro meet a man who locks up his books, an unwitting book torturer who cuts the pages of books into snippets to help people speed read, and a publisher who only wants to sell books like disposable products. Then, finally, there is a mission that Rintaro must complete alone . . .

An enthralling tale of books, first love, fantasy, and an unusual friendship with a talking cat, The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa, translated by Louise Heal Kawai, is a story for those for whom books are so much more than words on paper.

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From the outside, the Delaneys appear to be an enviably contented family. Even after all these years, former tennis coaches Joy and Stan are still winning tournaments, and now they’ve sold the family business they have all the time in the world to learn how to ‘relax’. Their four adult children are busy living their own lives, and while it could be argued they never quite achieved their destinies, no-one ever says that out loud.

But now Joy Delaney has disappeared and her children are re-examining their parents’ marriage and their family history with fresh, frightened eyes. Is her disappearance related to their mysterious house guest from last year? Or were things never as rosy as they seemed in the Delaney household?

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Madame Burova–beloved Tarot reader, palmist, and clairvoyant–is retiring and leaving her booth on the Brighton seafront.

After inheriting her mother’s fortune-telling business as a young woman, Imelda Burova has spent her life on the Brighton pier practicing her trade. She and her trusty pack of Tarot cards have seen the lovers and the liars, the angels and the devils, the dreamers and the fools. Now, after a lifetime of keeping other people’s secrets, Madam Burova is ready to have a little piece of life for herself. But she still has one last thing to do–to fulfill a promise made in the 1970s, when she and her girlfriends were carefree, with their whole lives still before them.

In London, it is time for another woman to make a fresh start. Billie has lost her university job, her marriage, and her place in the world when a sudden and unlikely discovery leaves her very identity in question. Determined to find answers, she must follow a trail…which leads to Brighton, the pier, and directly to Madame Burova’s door.

In a story spanning over fifty years, Ruth Hogan has conjured a magical world of 1970s holiday camps and seaside entertainers, eccentrics, heroes and villains, the lost and the found. Young people will make careless choices which echo down the years….but it’s never too late to put things right.

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The Whale in the Living Room follows the thrilling adventures of award-winning wildlife documentary producer, John Ruthven, on a journey of discovery — by turns memorable, touching and often funny — that has helped the undersea world flow into countless living rooms to reveal many of our ocean’s mysteries.

We swim with him through blue lagoons, dive into the abyss to encounter new life forms, and experience everything from the danger of getting lost at sea to the sadness of finding a starving whale with a fishing net caught in its mouth. Through each remarkable adventure, John gives insight into what we currently know about the ocean, and our whole blue planet, revealing that the sea really is the ‘saltwater country’ the Yolngu people of Australia know it to be – a place with as many unique destinations in water as on land.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

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Our region of NSW was finally released from stay at home orders on Saturday, so my parents raced up to visit us this weekend because who knows how long it will last? The boys will go back to school today, but they only have a week left of term three before two weeks of spring break, so its somewhat anticlimactic.

My daughter and I are still doing our late night viewing thing, we are currently watching Sleepy Hollow, whilst as a family we are watching the last season of Lucifer on Netflix.

I finally got my read on this past week, but I’m still struggling to get reviews written. I’m thinking I might need to change to a simpler format for a while. I’m worried that it will mean I’m short changing my blog readers, and publishers but I feel like I have to try something. Please bear with me….

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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Happy Hour by Jacquie Byron

The Housemate by Sarah Bailey

The Wattle Island Book Club by Sandie Docker

Sweet Jimmy by Bryan Brown

See Jane Snap by Bethany Crandall

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New Posts…

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Review: Cutters End by Margaret Hickey

Review: Happy Hour by Jacquie Byron

Review: The Wattle Island Book Club by Sandie Docker

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 



The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

It’s the following Thursday.

Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He’s made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life.

As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too? Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus?

But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can The Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?

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The Library by Bella Osbourne

Two different generations. Two unusual people. Thrown together to save their local library.

Tom is a teenager and blends into the background of life. After a row with his dad, and facing an unhappy future at the dog food factory, he escapes to the library. Tom unwittingly ends up with a bagful of romance novels and comes under the suspicion of Maggie.

Maggie is a pensioner and has been happily alone for ten years, at least that’s what she tells herself. When Tom comes to her rescue a friendship develops that could change her life. As Maggie helps Tom to stand up for himself, Tom helps Maggie realise the mistakes of her past don’t have to define her future.

They each set out to prove that the library isn’t just about books – it’s the heart of their community.

Together they discover some things are worth fighting for.

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The Unusual Abduction of Avery Conifer by Ilsa Evans

Two women abduct and hide out with their four-year-old granddaughter Avery, who they suspect is being harmed. They both love Avery … shame they can’t stand each other. A wise and witty novel for readers of Sophie Green and Brooke Davis.

What would you do to protect a child?

Beth’s daughter Cleo and Shirley’s son Daniel used to be married. Now Cleo is in gaol for supposedly contravening a family violence order, and Daniel has full-time care of their four-year-old daughter, Avery.

When Shirley suspects that Daniel is harming Avery, she enlists Beth to abduct their own granddaughter, even though the two women can’t stand each other. They are joined on the run across country Victoria by Winnie, Shirley’s own 89-year-old tech-savvy mother, and Harthacnut, Beth’s miniature schnauzer.

The abduction gives rise to crises both personal and social, as Shirley’s large and interfering family – including her toxic son – struggle to come to terms with her actions, amid a whirl of police investigation and media excitement. This heartfelt, wise, witty and wholly original novel explores of the lengths we may go to for those we love, and the unintended damage folded into daily life.

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Prisoner by S.R. White

When a man is found savagely ‘crucified’ amidst a murky swamp in northern Australia, detective Dana Russo and her team are called to a shocking scene. The victim is a convicted rapist, just released from prison, who years earlier committed an atrocious crime yards from where he was killed. 

Who murdered him – and why? With several potential leads, the investigation quickly becomes more complex, and sinister, than anyone imagined. And Dana realises she’ll have to confront her own troubled past to understand the true motives of the killer…

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance I’m reading #TheManWhoDiedTwice #TheLibrary #TheUnusualAbductionofAveryConifer #Prisoner

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

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It’s Father’s Day in Australia today, though given we are still in lockdown it was a non-event really. I FaceTimed my Dad so we could all say hello, my mother was spoiling him with a giant ‘club’ steak for dinner, and pancakes for dessert. I have to confess I’d forgotten when I was meal planning, so our dinner was much less glamorous – though a giant gift bag of liquorice meant my husband had dessert at least.

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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The Attack by Catherine Jinks

Cutters End by Margaret Hickey

Happy Hour by Jacquie Byron

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New Posts…

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Review: Once There We’re Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

Review: The Attack by Catherine Jinks

Review: Cutters End by Margaret Hickey

2021 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Monthly Spotlight #8

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 


It was a gentle knock. Agnes had been waiting for it. Hoping he would be on time. Such a lovely fella, she thought…

‘Come on through. Got a surprise for you,’ she said.

He had one for her too.

Phil and Sweet Jimmy are cousins. Phil grows orchids . . . spider orchids . . . learnt about them in the nick. Jimmy likes orchids, too, but there are other things he likes even more . . .

Trish Bennett didn’t like her life. Hadn’t liked it for a long time. Been on the streets. Bit of this for a bit of that. The ‘that’ wasn’t always nice. Then Ahmed found her.

Sam is a tea-leaf, a thief. Likes nickin. . . anything . . . always has . . . until the day he knocked off more than the Volvo.

Fell for the sexy and beautiful Sue May from Hong Kong, Frank Testy did. Silly old prick. What price for ego? A huge bloody price it turns out.

Taut and crackling with character, these gritty, raw and sometimes very funny stories from Australian great Bryan Brown are Aussie Noir at its best. Crime doesn’t discriminate . . . it can happen to anyone . . . it could happen to you . . . in any ordinary suburb . . . at any time.

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Is it ever too late to rewrite your own story?

COURAGE

In 1950, teenager Anne flees Wattle Island for the big city, where she learns that establishing the life she’s always dreamed of isn’t as easy as she thought. When a secret she’s been keeping is discovered, she has no choice but to retreat home and live a quiet life. But when tragedy strikes, establishing the Wattle Island book club is the only thing that offers her solace.

PASSION

In 2018, spirited librarian Grace has been writing bucket lists since she was a child, and is ticking off as many challenges as she can now that life has handed her a hefty dose of perspective. Heading to Wattle Island on one of her adventures, she is determined to uncover a long-held mystery surrounding the town’s historic book club, unlocking a buried truth that has been trapped between the dusty pages of secrecy for years.

HOPE

All too aware of how fragile life is, Anne and Grace must come together to help the residents of Wattle Island find the bravery to move beyond the trauma that tore the book club apart. Budding relationships offer new hope, along with a library project for the town’s future – but it will take more than a few lively literary debates to break the silence and heal the past.

Welcome to the Wattle Island Book Club, where some chapters may end, but others are just beginning…

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Handsome, successful husband. Adorable daughter. Chairwoman of the PTA. Security for her ailing mom. Jane’s got everything life has to offer. Including the lie that could destroy it all.

See Jane smile. Thirty-nine-year-old Jane Osborne appears to the world like she has a charmed life. Her daughter attends private school. Jane chairs the PTA. Even her marriage to Dan, the handsome, prominent surgeon, is blissfully happy. Her universe is stable, and her future is fixed…just like that smile. Because it’s all a ruse. Unbeknownst to anyone, after eighteen years of marriage, Dan’s revealed that he’s been living a double life and is in love with a man. But for the sake of his career, Jane must keep that secret, secret.

See Jane lie. With their livelihood on the line, Jane agrees to maintain appearances. But soon the weight of Dan’s deception and the pain of his betrayal get the better of her. Something’s got to give.

See Jane snap. Quite publicly. And a bit unlawfully. With brutal honesty, Jane must confront her choices head-on and determine—for herself—if the facade of stability she’s been protecting is worth the price of her own sanity and happiness.

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When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She’s going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better.

That’s where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex – he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she has just started to understand herself. However, when tragedy strikes Anna’s family she takes on a role that she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance I’m reading #SweetJimmy #TheWattleIslandBookClub #SeeJaneSnap #TheHeartPrinciple

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundaySalon #SundayPost

 

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

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Please excuse my absence.. a mix of illness (I’ll spare you the details), writers block and doomscrolling as Covid cases in my state continue to rise, are to blame.

I’m planning to get a grip this week.

 

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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The Deep by Kyle Perry

The Garden of Hopes & Dreams by Barbara Hannay

Billy Summers by Stephen King

CSI Told You Lies by Meshel Laurie

Trouble is My Business by Lisa Walker

Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

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New Posts…

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Bookish Bounty

Review: The Deep by Kyle Perry

Review: The Garden of Hopes & Dreams by Barbara Hannay

Review: Billy Summers by Stephen King

Review: CSI Told You Lies by Meshel Laurie

Review: Trouble is My Business by Lisa Walker

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 


What the past comes to get you…

Robyn Ayres works as the camp caretaker on Finch Island, a former leper colony off the coast of Queensland. Her current clients are a group of ex-military men who run a tough-love program for troubled teens.

The latest crop looks like the usual mix of bad boys and sad boys. Then Robyn takes a second look at a kid called Darren. Last time she saw him his name was Aaron, and Robyn was his primary school teacher. And she was somehow at the centre of a vicious small-town custody battle involving his terrifying grandmother.

Bruising classroom dynamics, manipulative parents and carers and horrendous small-town politics form the backdrop to a nail-biting thriller in which the tensions of ten years ago start to play themselves out, building to a violent climax in the present day.

Robyn escaped the past once. Now it’s back—and this time there’s no way out.

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A scintillating crime thriller, set in the South Australian outback town of Cutters End. A mysterious death on New Year’s Eve 1989 leads to a shocking murder investigation 32 years later…

A desert highway. A remote town. A murder that won’t stay hidden.

New Year’s Eve, 1989. Eighteen-year-old Ingrid Mathers is hitchhiking her way to Alice Springs. Bored, hungover and separated from her friend Joanne, she accepts a lift to the remote town of Cutters End.

July 2021. Detective Sergeant Mark Ariti is seconded to a recently reopened case, one in which he has a personal connection. Three decades ago, a burnt and broken body was discovered in scrub off the Stuart Highway, 300km south of Cutters End. Though ultimately ruled an accidental death, many people – including a high-profile celebrity – are convinced it was murder.

When Mark’s interviews with the witnesses in the old case files go nowhere, he has no choice but to make the long journey up the highway to Cutters End.

And with the help of local Senior Constable Jagdeep Kaur, he soon learns that this death isn’t the only unsolved case that hangs over the town…

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Growing older doesn’t necessarily mean growing wiser.

Gin in one hand, paintbrush in the other, Franny Calderwood has turned her back on the world, or at least the world she used to love. Having lost her husband, Frank, in tragic circumstances three years earlier, 65-year-old Franny copes the only way she knows how: by removing herself completely from the life she had before. Franny lives a life of decadent seclusion, with only her two dogs, Whisky and Soda, a stuffed cat, cocktails and the memory of Frank for company.

Then the Salernos move in next door. The troubled but charming trio – beleaguered mother Sallyanne, angry teenager Dee and eccentric eight-year-old Josh – cannot help but pull Franny into the drama of their lives. But despite her fixation with independence, Franny’s wisecracks and culinary experiments hide considerable trauma and pain, and when her eccentric behaviour has life-threatening consequences she faces a reckoning of sorts. Yes, Frank is dead, but did the woman he loved have to perish with him?

A story about one woman, two dogs and the family next door, Happy Hour is a hilarious and uplifting insight into grief, loss, true love and friendship.

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Three housemates.

One dead, one missing and one accused of murder.

Dubbed the Housemate Homicide, it’s a mystery that has baffled Australians for almost a decade.

Melbourne-based journalist Olive Groves worked on the story as a junior reporter and became obsessed by the case. Now, nine years later, the missing housemate turns up dead on a remote property. Oli is once again assigned to the story, this time reluctantly paired with precocious millennial podcaster Cooper Ng.

As Oli and Cooper unearth new facts about the three housemates, a dark web of secrets is uncovered. The revelations catapult Oli back to the death of the first housemate, forcing her to confront past traumas and insecurities that have risen to the surface again.

What really happened between the three housemates that night? Will Oli’s relentless search for the murderer put her new family in danger? And could her suspicion that the truth lies closer to home threaten her happiness and even her sanity?

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance I’m reading #TheAttack #CuttersEnd #HappyHour #TheHousemate

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon

 

Linking to: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? at BookDate; Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer; and the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

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Life…

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So the whole of NSW is now in lockdown for 7 days. Honestly it doesn’t affect us too much, except that the boys won’t be attending school but will instead have class via Google Classroom. My husband will still go to work, as will my eldest daughter. Aleah hasn’t returned to Uni yet, they’ve just been informed all classes will remain online until October, so she continues to stay with us.

Aleah and I have finally finished watching Grimm, and have moved on to Rookie Blue, which is an old favourite of mine. I’ve been on a cooking show binge this past week. I’ve caught up with Canada and New Zealand’s versions of The Great British Bake Off and I stumbled across The Great Kenyan Bake Off on YouTube. Now I’m watching The Professionals Bake Off. I’m a pretty good cook but I’m not much of a baker because it requires too much precision and attention to detail for me, but I really admire the creativity of it all.

I was inspired to bake a Caramel Apple Dump Crumble after reading The Last of the Apple Blossom though. It’s simple, but so delicious served with some vanilla icecream .

Caramel Apple Dump Crumble

2 x 400g (14oz) tins of sliced pie apples

1/2 cup caramel sauce

1 tbsp + 1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 boxed vanilla cake mix

125g (1 stick ) unsalted butter

1 cup rolled oats


Heat oven to 180c (350F). 
Spray 9×13 dish lightly with cooking spray.

Mix 1/3 cup brown sugar and oats in a small bowl, set aside

Empty apples into dish, use a sharp knife to roughly halve apple slices. Add caramel sauce, 1 tbsp brown sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Distribute evenly in dish.

Pour dry cake mix evenly over apples.

Slice butter thinly and lay over cake mix in a grid fashion.

Sprinkle with oat and sugar mix.

Bake for 45 -50 mins or until bubbling and golden.

Let stand for a few minutes before serving with icecream.

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

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Triflers Need Not Apply by Camilla Bruce

The Enemy Within by Tim Ayliffe

The Long Game by Simon Rowell

The Deep by Kyle Perry

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New Posts…

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Review: The Last of the Apple Blossom by Mary-Lou Stephens

Review: Triflers Need Not Apply by Camilla Bruce

Review: The Enemy Within by Tim Ayliffe

Review: The Long Game by Simon Rowell

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What I’m Reading This Week…

 


Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team of biologists tasked with reintroducing fourteen grey wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape, but Aggie, too, unmade by the terrible secrets that drove the sisters out of Alaska.

Inti is not the woman she once was, either, changed by the harm she’s witnessed – inflicted by humans on both the wild and each other. Yet as the wolves surprise everyone by thriving, Inti begins to let her guard down, even opening herself up to the possibility of love. But when a farmer is found dead, Inti knows where the town will lay blame. Unable to accept her wolves could be responsible, she makes a reckless decision to protect them. But if the wolves didn’t make the kill, then who did?

Once There Were Wolves is the unforgettable story of a woman desperate to save the creatures she loves – if she isn’t consumed by a wild that was once her refuge.

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Meshel Laurie, host of the incredibly successful Australian True Crime podcast speaks to the forensic pathologists, homicide detectives, defence barristers and victims’ families in this moving and gripping study of violent crime and largescale natural disaster.

CSI Told You Lies is a gripping account of the work of the forensic scientists on the frontline of Australia’s major crime and disaster investigations. They are part of the team at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM), a state-of-the-art facility in Melbourne. VIFM is a world-renowned centre of forensic science, and its team members have led major recovery operations over the years, from the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami to the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires to the shooting down of flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014. VIFM forensics experts have also played pivotal roles in some of Australia’s highest-profile homicide cases, including the Frankston Serial Killer, the murders of Eurydice Dixon and Aya Maasarwe, and the arrest of convicted serial killer Peter Dupas.

Join Meshel Laurie as she goes ‘behind the curtain’ at VIFM, interviewing the Institute’s talented roster of forensic experts about their daily work. Her subjects also include others touched by Australia’s major crime and disaster investigations, including homicide detectives, defence barristers and families of victims as they confront their darkest moments.

After reading CSI Told You Lies you’ll never read another homicide headline without wondering about the forensic pathologist who happened to be on call, the evidence they found and the truth they uncovered.

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Billy Summers is a man in a room with a gun. He’s a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he’ll do the job only if the target is a truly bad guy. And now Billy wants out. But first there is one last hit. Billy is among the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war vet, a Houdini when it comes to vanishing after the job is done. So what could possibly go wrong?

How about everything.

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Olivia Grace, recently retired teen PI, has her priorities sorted. Pass first-year law, look after her little sister, and persuade her parents to come back from a Nepali monastery to resume … well, parenting. But after Olivia’s friend Abbey goes missing in Byron Bay, she can’t sit back and study Torts. It’s time to go undercover as hippie-chick Nansea, in hippie-chic Byron Bay: hub of influencers and international tourism, and home of yoga, surfing and wellness culture, against a breathtaking backdrop, a short drive from Olivia’s Gold Coast home.

Olivia’s looking for answers, with the help of her stash of disguises, the PI skills her irresistible ex-boss Rosco taught her … and a nose for trouble. Her suspects include a hard-core surfer who often argued with Abbey in the surf, a charismatic cult leader and an acrobatic botany student. And then there’s Rosco, officially assigned to the case, and proving impossible to avoid.

Lisa Walker’s second Olivia Grace novel is another rip-roaring excursion into madcap sunshine noir, with nods to Nancy Drew and Sherlock Holmes, and a flavour of Veronica Mars meets Elmore Leonard.

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Thanks for stopping by!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR @thebookdate #SundayPost @Kimbacaffeinate #SundaySalon @debnance I’m reading #OnceThereWereWolves #BillySummers #CSIToldYouLies #TroubleIsMyBusiness

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