mrschristine.com

2016

For Richer, For Poorer by Kerry Wilkinson

Published December 3, 2022

For Richer, For Poorer by Kerry Wilkinson

I very quickly read through this after hopping back on the Jessica Daniel bandwagon. It didn’t pick up immediately after the cliffhanger of the previous book - some time has passed and our characters are still dealing with the fallout of the situation. This book continues the recent tradition of Jessica trying to understand her role as a more hands-off detective, rather than kicking down doors, but also layers in an element of whether she even wants to stay in the profession. Add to that a couple of interlinked crimes to solve and an ill-advised fling with a colleague, and you’ve got a great read.

No Cunning Plan by Tony Robinson

Published November 6, 2022

No Cunning Plan by Tony Robinson

I love, love, love Tony Robinson and didn’t realise he’d written an autobiography, so when I saw that he read the audiobook version, I dived right in. There’s so much I didn’t know - he’s had such a varied career, so much on the stage, so much TV, packing so much in before Time Team! And all of it is told with rhythm and style and grace and honesty and wisdom and a self-depracating nature that is the reason he’s a national treasure. He’s not perfect, but who is? Even the political chapters were told so well I loved it all.

The History of Us by Jonathan Harvey

Published November 1, 2022

The History of Us by Jonathan Harvey

I whizzed through this book, I wasn’t totally sure I was going to finish it but something kept me reading to the end. Ultimately there were three friends and we’re looking at when they first met as teenagers, to where they are now in middle-age and then, of course, everything that happened in between. They weren’t particularly sympathetic characters but enough to get to the end of hte book and find out what went down between them all.

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Published September 5, 2022

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

This was an odd little memoir. Obviously Carrie is an absolute treasure and her writing is brilliant - witty and insightful, startlingly honest and cutting but also warm and endearing. However, the structure of the book felt odd, it’s in three main parts. The first is a fascinating look back at how Carrie got the role in Star Wars in the first place, at such a young age. Then there’s a big segment focused on notes and poems from a diary written during an alleged affair with Harrison Ford. And finally, a look at what it’s like being famous and getting older, and more removed from the part that you’ll forever be known for.

The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish

Published August 26, 2022

The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish

This was a good mystery thriller, following a family that gradually drift further and further apart as they get entangled with a new family until the ultimate dramatic accident occurs that brings everything to a head. The book dips back and forth in time, gradually unravelling more of the mystery until it comes to the conclusion. The only thing I didn’t like about it is that all the way through I couldn’t see how it tied in with the prologue… and it turns out that prologue chapter was a dream. A bit annoying. But it’s a good mystery, trying to guess what’s happening and why, and very interesting when it’s all revealed.

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes

Published August 10, 2022

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes

I watched Downton Abbey relatively recently and whilst it was alright entertainment, I don’t know that it grabbed me the same way it did a lot of the nation. However, I figured it was worth giving Julian Fellowes works a go in a different format - this time a book. At first, it did feel a little bit slow-going, setting the scenes and introducing a lot of characters. Not too many, but how they all fitted together was mind-boggling. At one point, I genuinely had to draw out a little family tree to get my head round it. But once I got past that, and as the action gradually drifted towards a conclusion - secrets being revealed and all the ramifications that followed - I was hooked! A fun read.

Courage to Soar by Simone Biles

Published May 27, 2022

Courage to Soar by Simone Biles

This is Simone Biles’s story of getting to the Rio 2016 Olympics and becoming one of the most decorated gymnasts ever. It’s a courageous story of dealing with whatever life throws at you and coming out stronger, fitter, faster, better - standing by what you believe in and making sure that you keep things fun even when the pressure is high. It’s a good story, told well, and an interesting first chapter in Biles’ journey. However, I do feel like there’s more to be told, after everything that’s happened post-Rio. Who knows if there’ll be another book, but if there is, I’ll be reading and highly recommending it, no doubt. These are inspirational stories from someone so young.

Death Sentence by Damien Boyd

Published January 27, 2022

Death Sentence by Damien Boyd

The next book in the Nick Dixon series and this one had an intriguing premise - a body found in one of those concrete pillboxes that were built along rivers during the war. So this one had a bit of military history and quite a lot of wrestling with legal concepts, but at the same time there was some levity in there too. I wasn’t so keen on the caving parts of it, went a bit too deep into that side of things (pun intended), but at the same time I like how the layers of the mystery slowly unravelled and led us to that really quite chilling conclusion. A good book.

Dead Level by Damien Boyd

Published January 23, 2022

Dead Level by Damien Boyd

This book wasn’t as much fun as the previous couple, mostly because the case was set in the murky world of politics and to be honest, I read to try and escape the governmental goings on. However, I did like the way this was set up, especially at the start with Jane taking the lead early on and Nick in the background having to deal with a cold case as a direct result of his actions in the previous book.

End to End by Alistair McGuinness

Published November 16, 2021

End to End by Alistair McGuinness

The story of an adventure cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats, a journey that many have undertaken but only a handful of written about. I loved the writing in this book, the day to day adventure which was about more than just cycling - it was about how the journey affected the riders, with various snippets of information about a few of the places passed along the way.