Wrapping up Recent Reads #2 #MountTBR #VIRTUALMountTBR #NGEW2019

Hello friends!

I’ve read another 3 books that I don’t have much to say about, so I thought I’d wrap them up in another post.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, by Caitlin Doughty



From her first day at Westwind Cremation & Burial, twenty-three-year-old Caitlin Doughty threw herself into her curious new profession. Coming face-to-face with the very thing we go to great lengths to avoid thinking about she started to wonder about the lives of those she cremated and the mourning families they left behind, and found herself confounded by people’s erratic reactions to death. Exploring our death rituals – and those of other cultures – she pleads the case for healthier attitudes around death and dying. Full of bizarre encounters, gallows humour and vivid characters (both living and very dead), this illuminating account makes this otherwise terrifying subject inviting and fascinating.

This is another book from my VIRTUAL Mount TBR Challenge. Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will know since my blog started 2 years ago, we’ve had 2 deaths in the family. We had a third on January 2nd. After previous deaths I found comfort in “When Breath Becomes Air’, by Paul Kalanithi. This time, I found comfort in this book by Caitlin Doughty. I wouldn’t say it’s completely cured my irrational fear of death, but it helped. I gave it 3*.

Continental Crimes, edited by Martin Edwards



A man is forbidden to uncover the secret of the tower in a fairy-tale castle by the Rhine. A headless corpse is found in a secret garden in Paris – belonging to the city’s chief of police. And a drowned man is fished from the sea off the Italian Riviera, leaving the carabinieri to wonder why his socialite friends at the Villa Almirante are so unconcerned by his death.

These are three of the scenarios in this new collection of vintage crime stories. Detective stories from the golden age and beyond have used European settings – cosmopolitan cities, rural idylls and crumbling chateaux – to explore timeless themes of revenge, deception, murder and haunting.

Including lesser-known stories by Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, J. Jefferson Farjeon and other classic writers, this collection reveals many hidden gems of British crime.

I read this as part of the “Netgalley and Edelweiss” challenge. It also counts towards the “Mount TBR Challenge’. I don’t seem to do very well with short stories, and this was no exception. The stories I particularly enjoyed were “The Secret Garden”, by G. K. Chesterton, “Popeau Intervenes”, by Marie Belloc Lowndes, and “Perfect Murder”, by Stacy Aumonier. I gave it 2*.

Brewing Up Murder, by Neila Young



As the owner of Mystery Cup Café in Wilton, Missouri, a town made famous by a string of long-ago murders, Blake Harper is used to the mysterious. When her barista is found strangled in a mound of coffee beans, Blake vows to find the killer, even though her sister, the town’s lead police detective, tells her to stay out of it.

Blake finds plenty of suspects, like the owners of a rival coffee shop and the handsome new bookstore owner. But when new threats are made, she soon realizes the danger is centered around Mystery Cup and someone is targeting her personally.

Will Blake be able to solve the murder, find a new barista, and perfect her recipe for espresso brownies before she becomes the next victim?

I also read this as part of both the “Netgalley and Eidleweiss” and “Mount TBR” challenge. It was a quick, light cozy mystery, although I could have done with less on the romance side.

See you tomorrow for “It’s Monday”!

3 thoughts on “Wrapping up Recent Reads #2 #MountTBR #VIRTUALMountTBR #NGEW2019

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