Something always goes wrong! In some strange way, part 3 of my blog went live immediately just when I found out how to schedule. So you may see Parts 3, 1, and 2 in that order. This is the last one which hopefully will go out on 19th December.

I’ve never understood why some people just don’t read. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a book in my hand, even before I began school. Books take you backwards and forwards in time, to places you will never go or have never visited. They teach you, stretch your mind and open up the whole universe.

Why not give someone a book this Christmas, maybe even one of mine!

TAINTED WINE   Linda Watkins

This was an intriguing story for how can you defend an accused when every bit of evidence points to her guilt? I couldn’t work out how the investigator could ever wriggle out of this one.

The body of a vintner is found among the vines at the renowned Fauchér Winery, a corkscrew lodged deeply in his throat. The primary suspect – Jessica Fauchér, heiress to the winery fortune, The San Francisco law firm of Jacobs, Felder, and Smith takes on the task of representing the young heiress and Steve Daniels, who works for them as an investigator, is assigned the task of determining her guilt or innocence. Is she a cold-blooded murderer or just a victim of circumstance? Will the revelations Steve uncovers about her past foreshadow an even darker future? And, will Steve get caught in the web of lies that is being spun around him?

MEANS TO DECEIVE    Alex Craigie

I am a great fan of this independent writer and this is her third book, although I’ve just discovered she published a novella this autumn which I downloaded immediately. Means to Deceive is a psychological thriller another of my favourite genres.

Eighteen months ago, Gwen Meredith left the job she loved and came back to Pembrokeshire to help support her irritable and increasingly confused grandmother.
But someone is pursuing a vendetta against her.

As the attacks become more malicious, her old anxieties begin to build.
She’s attracted to her new neighbour who is keen to help…but can she trust him?

THE BAG CARRIER  Stephen Leather

Years ago I was an avid fan of Stephen Leather and then somehow he slipped off my radar. Then I rediscovered his books and I’ve read several this year. I’ve chosen the Bag Carrier as it shines an uncomfortable but probably accurate picture of modern-day Britain. Food for thought.

A dead body in the prayer hall of a mosque isn’t the best start to the day for anyone.
But for Detective Inspector Harold Porter it’s all in a day’s work – he’s a Murder Detective with the Metropolitan Police’s Homicide and Serious Crimes Command.
The problem is that DI Porter has been given a new partner – a young Muslim detective by the name of Mohammed Salim Nasri.
Nasri and Porter are both British and they are both cops, but they look at the world – and the case – from completely different viewpoints.


All the books in last week’s post were all historical based, but that’s not the only genre I enjoy. The books I’m including are those that not only do I remember but ones where I can leave the bed unmade, the dishes abandoned in the sink and let the whole world go by as I feverishly turn the pages, or in my case, click on my kindle.

SIX CANVASES   Thomas Bauer

Set in New York, this is a good page turner in the traditional fashion. It kept me turning the pages and guessing right up until the end.

A Manhattan art dealer becomes obsessed with an artist dying young and the enigmatic woman he loved. When he discovers strange canvases the artist hid in his attic, he embarks on a quest to solve the mysteries of the artist’s life. The small fishing village the artist lived in, the beautiful Cory Forbes, and the canvases take him on a journey that leads him to the brink of murder.


I guess the title gives the game away, but it did not detract from the narrative told by a master storyteller. Some authors just have that special way with words and he is one of the masters.

Jeannie Ferrami, a scientific researcher investigating the behaviour of identical twins who have been raised separately, uncovers a perplexing mystery; identical twins who were born on different days, to different mothers, in different places. One, Steve, is a law student, and the other, Dennis, a convicted murderer. As Jeannie works with Steve on her project she finds herself falling in love with him, but their world is shattered when he is accused of a monstrous crime.


A book by a seasoned writer, with extensive research into the period of World War II. It’s a solid reminder that there is good and bad on both sides of a war.

January 1944—a senior member of the French Resistance betrays his comrades to the Abwehr and Gestapo, but who?

Within hours, the Germans arrest hundreds of suspected resistance fighters and incarcerate them in the infamous Amiens prison.

When a Resistance spy inside the prison informs his leaders, Dominique Ponchardier and Boniface Monier, of German plans to conduct mass executions within weeks, they are helpless to respond.

Part 3 next week


I have been keeping a spreadsheet of all the books I read for several years. There is a column for the download, one for when I’ve read it, when I’ve written a review and finally posted on Amazon and Goodreads.

The books in my next few blogs are those I have highlighted as great reads, stories I will remember, and they have to be special as I’ve exceeded my Goodreads challenge of 80 books this year and that’s not counting those I’ve read and privately reviewed for Readers Favorite.

THE DARK MONK  Oliver Potzsch

I love this series, set in the middle Ages in Bohemia (yes I had to check that out on the map). This writer takes you back into the past and makes it all come to life.

Following a trail of riddles, hangman Jakob Kuisl, his headstrong daughter, Magdalena, and the town physician’s son team up with the priest’s aristocratic sister to investigate. What they uncover will lead them back to the Crusades, unlocking a troubled history of internal church politics and sending them on a chase for a treasure of the Knights Templar.  a seventeenth-century Bavaria and quickening our pulses with a gripping, mesmerizing mystery.

THE BEGGAR KING     Oliver Potzsch
The only problem I have with this series is the rather dull covers. I would not have chosen to read these books if I hadn’t downloaded the first one on sale. I am so glad I did. This is the third book in the Hangman’s Daughter series. I recommend them all.
1662: Jakob Kuisl, the hangman of Schongau, receives a letter from his sister calling him to the imperial city of Regensburg, where a gruesome sight awaits him: Her throat has been slit. When the city constable discovers Kuisl alongside the corpse, he locks him in a dungeon, where Kuisl will experience first hand the torture he has administered himself for years.


My favourite genres are historical novel, most especially set in England during the time of the Tudors and this one is a little different detailing the consequences of the closure and plundering of the religious houses under Henry VIII. Again Arnopp is a writer who transports you back in time as you join the pilgrimage and suffer the same trials on the march.

Arden Priory has remained unchanged for almost four hundred years when a nameless child is abandoned at the gatehouse door.

As Henry VIII’s second queen dies on the scaffold, the embittered King strikes out, and unprecedented change sweeps across the country.
The bells of the great abbeys fall silent, the church and the very foundation of the realm begins to crack.

Determined to preserve their way of life, novitiate nuns Margery and Grace join a pilgrimage thirty thousand strong to lead the king back to grace.

Check out the next three books in my next blog.


This is the last in my book choices for 2020. I could have included a whole lot more, as I enjoyed many amazing stories this year. But I also have to admit I’ve also battled through some really badly written books in the last 12 months. It can often be easy to tell those that are traditionally published, most are slick, fast moving and clever. However, and I’m not the only one who has remarked on this, several of the older long-time writers, often co-authoring are not quite as attention-holding as their earlier books. Maybe writers have a sell-by-date and become too formulaic and too repetitive? Might make for an interesting discussion.

On with my final choice.  

The Husband’s Secret   by Liane Moriarty

This is a bestseller and despite the easy read, with the everyday activities of three housewives – brought back memories – there is an underlying problem which permeates the book. I can see why it has been so popular, although I might not have even been aware of it except it was on my Book Club list. I enjoyed it and shall look for more by Moriarty, especially as the genre I’m currently writing is also along similar lines.

Exits and Entrances   by Leslie Hayes

If you are looking for a good quality, thought-provoking literary book to read you won’t go far wrong with any of Leslie Hayes’ works. They are so well written, flow beautifully and tell a story that moves along at a satisfying pace. I’ve enjoyed all this author’s books and this one is the first in a trilogy and I had to buy the next two immediately. Three schoolgirls whose friendship lasts decades, reminded me of the world events of the time, and mirrored the changing relationships we have all experienced as events and lifestyles pull us farther apart and yet bring us closer together.

Red Notice    by Bill Browder

A non fiction book that blew my mind. Bill Browder was a hedge fund manager who set up business in Russia in the early days as the oligarchs were beginning to flex their muscles. The behind the scenes of the trading and back handing of the movers and shakers of the time were vividly brought to life, all fact from Browder’s point of view. The story takes us up to present times, and if you read this book, and I highly recommend it, you will never think of Russia or it’s government in quite the same way ever again.

I hope you will find some great reading among my top choices and will have lots of time to bury into a good book over the festive season. I have no idea what is currently PC or woke but I’m wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas, or celebration in your faith, plus a peaceful New Year and here’s hoping that 2021 will be a happy new beginning for all of us.

Stay safe, keep distance and remain kind and loving.


Oh, forgot my links AGAIN!!! You may even like one of my books, or, check out my website and sign up for my newsletter as each month there are books to win and free books to grab.