Top Five Tuesday- A-Z Authors

A new Top Five Tuesday, the prompts are created by Bionic Book Worm. This month’s topics are A-Z authors, this week it’s F-J:

F: Nicci French

I love this author, their books are all fictional crime, some are reall scary. They have a way of drawing you in. I recently finished reading their Frieda Klein series which spanned eight books. I still have a lot of books to read of theirs but I think one of my favourites is Beneath the Skin, it is pretty scary but very clever.

G: Philippa Gregory

Again one of my favourite authors, all historical fiction about the Tudors and the War of the Roses. My first book was The Other Boleyn Girl and reading what happened to Anne and how she was treated opened my eyes! Although it’s all fiction because it’s based on real people I feel as if it is fact. I love reading about the Wat of the Roses from the women’s point of view but I think my favourite is probably The Virgin’s Lover which is about Elizabeth and her love of Robert Dudley.

H: Robin Hobb

One of my favourite fantasy authors, I haven’t read all of Robin’s books yet but I really enjoyed the Farseer Trilogy and the world that it takes place in. The journey that Fitz goes on gave me Lord of the Rings vibes but it has everything fantasy needs, royalty, travels and some dragons!

I: Eva Ibbotson

I haven’t read her books in a while but I loved them when I was in my early teens. Journey to the River Sea was the first book I read by Eva Ibbotson and I loved how it transported me to the Amazon and all its jungle beauty. Some of my other favourites are A Company of Swans and A Countess Below Stairs, both are historical fiction centred around young girls trying to make their way in the world.

J: Liz Jenson

I’ve only read one of Liz Jenson’s books but it was so atmospheric it has stayed with me. The Rapture is set at the end of the world. Natural disasters are becoming more frequent. Gabrielle is a psychiatrist and one of her patients claims that electro shock therapy can help her predict the future. She can forsee the destruction to come. It’s a fascinating book about psychology and how humanity tries to cling to life.

Day of the Dead by Nicci French Review

“Everything that happens to you becomes part of you. It’s like what you eat. You metabolize it.”

This is the last book in the Frieda Klein series, I am sad that it’s finished but my goodness this was a thrilling end.

It had an interesting beginning, Frieda is on the run but strange crimes are happening in London. Then we meet Lola, a criminology student hoping to write her thesis on Frieda. But of course she can’t find her so she goes walking as Frieda used and accidentally stumbles upon the most dangerous man in London. Lola finds Frieda by chance and goes into hiding with her. Lola is quite naive she hasn’t grasped the severity of the situation. They are both in danger from a man who has committed several murders over the years of this series and has never been caught by the police.

Frieda can sense that the end is nearly here, either she will die or Dean will be caught. She has lost so much all she wants is for this horror to be over, she can’t stand the thought of her friends being in danger anymore which is why she is on the run. The pace of the story is so quick that it makes it almost impossible to put the book down. I was gripped until the last page, waiting for another twist.

There was a quality to her stillness that felt dangerous as if she might burst into flames.”

Sunday Morning Coming Down by Nicci French Review

“If there’s a wasp in the room, you’d rather know where it is.”

In the penultimate novel in the Freida Klein series we dive straight into the action. At the end of the sixth book Frieda has just discovered a dead body under her floor, she had sent this man to track down her stalker and this was his response.

Things only get worse for Frieda and her friends, the book was fast paced which definitely made it more addictive. Frieda’s niece was abducted for a weekend and found in a graveyard, still alive but with no memory of the past days. She was unharmed apart from the drugs that had been injected into her system.

The police are at a loss, but still it keeps getting worse. It appears that Frieda’s stalker who the police thought was dead now has a copycat who is escalating his attacks.

I felt so awful for all of these lovely characters who we’ve got to know over the series, they are all so different but they’ve all gravitated towards Frieda for different reasons, she is the heart of the group but that has put them all in grave danger.

As a reader we also get an insight into the copycat’s mind. Nicci French has always been good at getting into the minds of their sociopathic characters, and this one was no exception, it is both fascinating and terrifying!

I really enjoyed this book and I am excited to read the final book except I hate endings!

Top Five Tuesday – Series I Need to Finish

A new Top Five Tuesday, the prompts are created by Bionic Book Worm. I’m actually doing quite well at keeping up with series I’ve started, I don’t like to read similar books in a row so I do space out books by the same authors etc. These are all on my on my TBR list some are quite low down but shhh…

1. The Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley

I started reading these books this year, I’ve read the first two which were wonderful. They each focus on one of the sisters who were adopted from around the world by their father who recently passed away. He left them clues and coordinates to where they’re from in case they want to find out one day. I’m going to start the third book soon The Shadow Sister which follows Star and her journey to discovery in England.

2. Frieda Klein series by Nicci French

I have only two books left of this series, they are waiting on my bookshelf right now! I have taken my time with this one, I forgot it for a while, the first book was published in 2011 and the last in 2018. Frieda is a psychologist who liases with the police when they need help on cases. But trouble seems to follow her, she has a stalker who has followed her since the first book, he once saved her life. But he faked his own death so no one will believe Frieda when she claims it’s him that’s harming others around her.

3. Tudor Legacy series by Laura Andersen

This is the second series surrounding the Tudors, Elizabeth is now queen after her brother Henry died. It’s been fifteen years since the first series finished, Elizabeth has a child! And so do her dear friends Minuette and Dominic. As always at Tudor court there are spies and drama, I’ve only read the first book so far but the second isn’t far away.

4. Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

Although these books don’t have to be read in chronological order, each is a stand alone, they all take place on the strange Discworld and usually in the city of Ankh-Morpork. I love these books, I’ve lost count of how many I’ve read but I’ve still got many to go yet there are forty one in total!

5. Six Tudor Queens series by Alison Weir

I’ve only read the first of this series but it was so detailed and felt like a biography of Katherine of Aragon and her life in England. I am excited to read Anne Boleyn’s book because she has always fascinated me.

That’s all of them, I can’t believe it’s autumn already! Are there any series you have yet to finish or have forgotten?

Top Ten Tuesday – Auto-Buy Authors

I do have a collection of authors that I have to read everything they’ve ever written!

1. George R.R. Martin

This man though….he’s honestly a genius. I’ve read all of A Song of Ice and Fire and the first part of Fire and Blood which is about the Targaryen kings and queens. I’ve got Nightflyers waiting on my bookshelf which is a completely different genre from ASOIAF. It’s set in space in the future and I’m really looking forward to reading it.

2. Kate Morton

All of her books are stand alone but they all have a similar style. Set in different times but centred around the same place, usually an old house. The characters are so well written and I always form a strong connection to them. I love Kate’s descriptions of the houses and the different time periods feel real. I’m reading the Clockmaker’s Daughter at the moment which goes from 1862-2017 and lots in between but every time we switch there’s a different feel to the chapter, I don’t know how she does it. I’m always eagerly awaiting her next book!

3. Kate Atkinson

I first discovered Kate Atkinson when I read When Will There Be Good News? which is part of her Jackson Brodie series, he’s a private detective but the books aren’t so much focused on the crimes in them, more about the characters and how they’re affected. I read the rest of the series and when Life After Life came out I was bowled over with the incredible writing and depth of this book, it’s so beautiful and covers the theory of parallel worlds but not in a super sci-fi way. I recently read Transcription which was again historical fiction and I loved it.

4. Nicci French

Nicci French is actually a husband and wife duo! Their books are crime/psychological thrillers and some of them are super scary. I can’t stand scary films but these are different they’re full of suspense. The Frieda Klein series is really good, Frieda is a psychologist who consults with the police and seems to attract trouble. I’ve still got two books left to read from that series and then I’m going to tackle all the ones I haven’t yet read.

5. Laura Andersen

I’ve read her first trilogy The Boleyn Trilogy which is written as if Anne Boleyn had given birth to a son, she survived Henry and her son and daughter are heirs to England. It’s great historical fiction with a twist, the new characters who are friends of the Prince and Princess are Minuette and Dominic all four of them are true friends and have to try and navigate court life together. I’ve started the second trilogy which is set twenty years after the first, I can’t wait to read the rest. I really like Andersen’s style and choice of genre!

6. Lucinda Riley

I am loving her series of The Seven Sisters, every book tells the story of one of the D’Apliese sisters on the journey to discover where they were born. They also flashback to characters in history of each place, so far we’ve discovered Brazil and Norway! I really enjoy reading about the sister’s dynamics, I only have two sisters but they still reminded me of us a little bit! I’m really excited to read the rest of the series.

7. Ian McEwan

I read Atonement for the first time years ago and fell in love with it, since then I’ve read Sweet Tooth which is set in England during the Cold War, Solar and The Children Act. I love how all his novels are completely different, I’ve got all of his older ones on my TBR list and the newest one about robots!

8. Katherine Webb

Webb’s style is similar to Kate Morton, based in the past with ties to the present. The Legacy was the first book I read by Katherine Webb and I was completely hooked. Her others look just as intriguing, The Unseen is next on my list, it’s set in the early 1900s in a small village in England, when two strangers show up and change the town forever.

9. Stephen Fry

I’ve been reading Stephen’s books about Greek Mythology, the way he ties them all together is so clever. Mythos was great, I used to love learning about the many Greek Gods and Goddesses at school but I had forgotten how funny they were. I’ve started Heroes and there’s a third book still to come!

10. J K Rowling

Although we haven’t had anything from Rowling for a while and despite the epic disappointment the was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (which wasn’t written by Rowling), I would probably still read anything she writes. After Harry Potter we had the Casual Vacancy about a small town, it’s residents and their complicated relationships and biases, I really enjoyed the book, I might re-read it soon.

So there they are, who are your must buy authors?

Top Five Tuesday – Summer Reads

A new Top Five Tuesday, the prompts are created by Bionic Book Worm. It’s nearly summer so here are my top five summer reads:

297668951. The Lake House by Kate Morton

I’m a huge fan of Kate Morton and I find all of her books make lovely summer reads but this one in particular. It’s set in the Summer of 1933 and in 2003. In 1933 the Edevane family are preparing for their midsummer party but by the end of the night something horrible happens which sends them away from their home forever. Seventy years later Sadie is sent on compulsory leave from the Metropolitan Police after a tough case. She goes to stay with her grandfather in Cornwall and comes across a beautiful abandoned house full of secrets.

85175322. The Legacy by Katherine Webb

As children Erica and Beth Calcott spent their summers at Storton Manor, following their grandmother’s death they have returned to the manor to sort out all her belongings. Erica can’t help but think back to the summer that her cousin Henry disappeared, the sisters decide to try and find out what happened to him. They find more family secrets than they bargained for. This book is a similar style to Kate Morton’s and it’s beautifully written. It definately feels like summer when you read this, the sisters memories of their holidays at the manor make you want to drive out to the countryside and have an adventure.

8320983. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

I absolutely loved this book, I read it last summer! It’s set in South Carolina, USA in 1964. The story is about Lily who lost her mother when she was very young, since then she’s been raised mainly by her ‘stand-in mother’ Rosaleen, a woman of colour, which was dangerous at that time in America. On a walk into town on a blisteringly hot day, Rosaleen gets into an argument with some racists and she is arrested. Lily is beside herself and decides to break Rosaleen out of prison. They escape to a small town in South Carolina that held significance for Lily’s mother. They are taken in by an eccentric trio of sisters who keep bees and sell their honey to make a living. This book is so powerful and uplifting, it filled me with warmth and hope.

68674. Atonement by Ian McEwan

The story begins and ends in the summer in a big country house in England. It’s set from 1930s-40’s and then jumps to the early 2000s. Briony Tallis is a curious, over-confident child, she likes to write and perform plays and this summer is no different. Except she winesses something and doesn’t understand it’s innocence. An accusation is made and lives are changed forever. The start of the book definately has that lovely summer setting.


3201985. Beneath the Skin by Nicci French

This has a very different feel from the others on my list, it’s set in London during a very hot summer. Three different women are being stalked by a sadistic killer. Is it someone they know or a complete stranger? This book is quite scary but it’s got that summer setting so I thought I would add it into the mix. It’s so well written and I remember feeling realy jumpy/edgy when I read it.


What are some of your favourite summer reads?

Saturday Requiem by Nicci French Review

This book is the sixth in the Frieda Klein series. Frieda is a psychotherapist who sometimes consults with the police on cases. Or at least she used to, in the last book she was framed for murder and only just managed to prove her innocence. A strange and powerful man helped her and now she owes him a favour.

Thirteen years ago, eighteen year old Hannah Docherty was convicted of killing her entire family. She has been in a psychiatric hospital ever since, often sent into solitary confinement and beaten by other patients. The arresting police officer is under investigation as are some of his old cases. Frieda believes that Hannah is innocent and wants to prove it.

Hannah’s story is so sad, I can’t believe people are treated that way. Frieda is as brilliant and blunt as ever in this book and she’s so incredible at her job. I love seeing her piece all the clues together. The story is gripping and tense, I also believed Hannah was innocent and was outraged at the way she has been treated in the ‘hospital’ where she’s been kept. A fantastic read as always from Nicci French.

Quotes of the Week

I hope you’ve all had a good week, here are my favourite quotes from this week:

“Inside every sane person there’s a madman struggling to get out. No-one goes mad quicker than a totally sane person.” -Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic

This quote really shook me!

“It’s meaningless. It’s just dread. As if my time of reckoning has come.” – Nicci French, Saturday Requiem

The woman is talking about her anxiety and the whole passage resonated with me but especially this part.

Top Five Tuesday – Top five sequels I need to get to

A new Top Five Tuesday, the prompts are created by Bionic Book Worm. Sometimes I’m really good at reading sequels fairly close together, other times not so much. Here are my top five that I know I have to read asap!

321882871. Saturday Requiem by Nicci French

I’ve waited way too long to read this, it’s the sixth book in the Frieda Klein series and it’s next on my TBR list! This series is always so interesting and gripping. This time Frieda agrees to do a psychological assessment on a young woman who was convicted of murder when she was eighteen.


251493352. The Virgin’s Spy by Laura Andersen

This is the second book in the Tudor Legacy series, the first was excellent. The characters were really compelling and I love alternate histories.



309692713. The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley

This is the third book in The Seven Sisters series. I only just finished the second book but I’m already looking forward to this one. In this book we find out more about Star and go with her on her journey to discover her roots.


417169304. Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky

I didn’t know this book existed until the Top Five Tuesday Space week! It’s the sequel to Children in Time, it’s set in space still but thousands of years after the original book, the humans and spiders are living together harmoniously and have made a spaceship of their own.


393215425. No Tomorrow by Luke Jennings

This is the sequel to Killing Eve, I wish the first book had been longer so I’m excited to read more about what Villanelle gets up to.



What sequels are you eager to get to? Or have you read any of the ones on my list? Let me know what you think!

Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR List

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic by thatartsyreadergirl is the top books on my Spring TBR list. A lot of these may have appeared on my Winter TBR post…I didn’t seem to get very far!


1. Shouldn’t You Be In School? by Lemony Snicket

It’s the third book in the All the Wrong Questions series, I haven’t read any Snicket’s books in ages so I can’t wait to get into this one. His style of writing is so unique!



2. The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley

This was definitely on my Winter list, I’m still really looking forward to reading it though, it’s only two books away!!




3. The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

Although this is the second Discworld novel I haven’t read it yet! I’ve read lots of his book in a completely random order but I’m now tracking down the ones left.




4. Saturday Requium by Nicci French

I miss Frieda…this was also on my Winter list but I actually have the book now so we’re all set.



246075655. Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights? by Lemony Snicket

The last in the series, I tried to not read the third and this one too close together because if I read too many books that are similar together, I tend to get bored.



6. Pyramids by Terry Pratchett

The seventh book in the Discworld series as with all of Pratchett’s books this looks funny, strange and wonderful.



375398207. Transcription by Kate Atkinson

I’m so excited for this book, I’ve been waiting for it to come out in paperback and it’s finally due out next month! It’s set in WWII and the Cold War, it follows a woman who joins MI5 and once peace is declared expects her job to be over but she’s very wrong. I don’t know a lot about the Cold War so this will be so interesting.



8. The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

Again I’ve been waiting for this to be published in paperback form and the time is almost here! I love all of Kate Morton’s books, she never disappoints.



9. The Virgin’s Spy by Laura Andersen

I really enjoyed the first book of this series and I’m eager to find out how all the characters are getting on.




10. The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley

If I make this far before the Summer I’ll be seriously impressed. The third book in the series, this one is set in England and follows Star on her journey of discovery.


What are you planning to read over the Spring?