It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Last week was not a very productive week for me reading-wise, though I did manage to complete two books. Internet book browsing took up a lot of my time and yesterday I enjoyed a quiet Sunday updating my Book Series page, converting it from being just a list of books into something a bit more interesting. My bedtime reading was replaced by watching episodes of Scott & Bailey on DVD.

What I Read Last Week

Plague by C.C. Humphreys

This was a great read. Chris Humphreys' books are very easy reading.

London, May 1665. On a dark road outside London, a simple robbery goes horribly wrong - when the gentlemanly highwayman, William Coke, discovers that his intended victims have been brutally slaughtered. Suspected of the murders, Coke is forced into an uneasy alliance with the man who pursues him - the relentless thief-taker, Pitman. Together they seek the killer - and uncover a conspiracy that reaches from the glittering, debauched court of King Charles to the worst slum in the city, St Giles in the Fields. But there's another murderer moving through the slums, the taverns and palaces, slipping under the doorways of the rich. A mass murderer ..... Plague .......

 The Widow's Confession by Sophia Tobin

I was disappointed by this second novel from Sophia Tobin mainly because of my own expectations influenced by the cover. The interest grabbing mystery promised by the book blurb wasn't there for me and the story seemed to drag on. The Widow's Confession was very readable, but I liked The Silversmith's Wife better.

 Broadstairs, Kent, 1851. Once a sleepy fishing village, now a select sea-bathing resort, this is a place where people come to take the air, and where they come to hide...

Delphine and her cousin Julia have come to the seaside with a secret, one they have been running from for years. The clean air and quiet outlook of Broadstairs appeal to them and they think this is a place they can hide from the darkness for just a little longer. Even so, they find themselves increasingly involved in the intrigues and relationships of other visitors to the town.

But this is a place with its own secrets, and a dark past. And when the body of a young girl is found washed up on the beach, a mysterious message scrawled on the sand beside her, the past returns to haunt Broadstairs and its inhabitants. As the incomers are drawn into the mystery and each others' lives, they realise they cannot escape what happened here years before.....

Reading Today

I picked this one up again after abandoning it for The Plague and The Widow's Confession.

A Fine Summer's Day by Charles Todd

On a fine summer's day in June, 1914, Ian Rutledge pays little notice to the assassination of an archduke in Sarajevo. An Inspector at Scotland Yard, he is planning to propose to the woman whom he deeply loves, despite intimations from friends and family that she may not be the wisest choice. To the north on this warm and gentle day, another man in love-a Scottish Highlander-shows his own dear girl the house he will build for her in September. While back in England, a son awaits the undertaker in the wake of his widowed mother's death. This death will set off a series of murders across England, seemingly unconnected, that Rutledge will race to solve in the weeks before the fateful declaration in August that will forever transform his world .........

What I Hope to Read Next

My reading pile has a number of series firsts in it so perhaps I'll choose one of those for my next read.

The French Executioner by C.C. Humphreys (#1 The French Executioner Series)

It is 1536, and the expert swordsman, Jean Rombaud, has been brought over from France by Henry VIII to behead his wife, Anne Boleyn. But on the eve of her execution Rombaud swears a vow to the ill-fated queen - to bury her six-fingered hand, symbol of her rumoured witchery, at a sacred crossroads. Yet in a Europe ravaged by religious war, the hand of this infamous Protestant icon is so powerful a relic that many will kill for it...From a battle between slave galleys to a black mass in a dungeon, through the hallucinations of St Anthony's Fire to the fortress of an apocalyptic Messiah, Jean seeks to honour his vow.

A Murder at Rosamund's Gate by Susanna Calkins (#1 Lucy Campion Mysteries)

For Lucy Campion, a seventeenth-century English chambermaid serving in the household of the local magistrate, life is an endless repetition of polishing pewter, emptying chamber pots, and dealing with other household chores until a fellow servant is ruthlessly killed, and someone close to Lucy falls under suspicion. Lucy can't believe it, but in a time where the accused are presumed guilty until proven innocent, lawyers aren't permitted to defend their clients, and--if the plague doesn't kill the suspect first--public executions draw a large crowd of spectators, Lucy knows she may never find out what really happened. Unless, that is, she can uncover the truth herself. Determined to do just that, Lucy finds herself venturing out of her expected station and into raucous printers' shops, secretive gypsy camps, the foul streets of London, and even the bowels of Newgate prison on a trail that might lead her straight into the arms of the killer. In her debut novel "Murder at Rosamund's Gate," Susanna Calkins seamlessly blends historical detail, romance, and mystery in a moving and highly entertaining tale.

The Last Days of Newgate by Andrew Pepper (#1 Pyke Mysteries)

St Giles, London, 1829: three people have been brutally murdered and the city simmers with anger and political unrest. Pyke, sometime Bow Street Runner, sometime crook, finds himself accidentally embroiled in the murder investigation but quickly realises that he has stumbled into something more sinister and far-reaching. In his pursuit of the murderer, Pyke ruffles the feathers of some powerful people and, falsely accused of murder himself, he soon faces a death sentence and the gallows of the Old Bailey. Imprisoned, and with only his uncle and the headstrong, aristocratic daughter of his greatest enemy who believe in him, Pyke must engineer his escape, find the real killer and untangle the web of politics that has been spun around him. From the gutters of Seven Dials to the cells of Newgate prison, from the turmoil of 1800s Belfast to the highest levels of murky, pre-Victorian politics, THE LAST DAYS OF NEWGATE is a gripping, darkly atmospheric story with a fantastic, pragmatic - and reluctantly heroic - hero.


  1. What a shame the story isn't as good as the cover - false advertising!!
    I love seeing your historical fiction picks :-)

    1. Exactly! And I fell for it! Thanks, Brona.

  2. These all sound good to me. Did you abandon the Charles Todd book because you didn't like it, or were you just more excited for the other books? I haven't read Charles Todd, but I just put his first Ian Rutledge book on hold at the library.

    1. I abandoned it for the very reason you mention - I was more excited by the other books.. I've gone back to it and so far so good. This is a new author and series for me, but as this one deals with the time before WWI and the rest of the novels are set after, I thought I'd read this one first.

  3. These all sound really good. I hope you enjoy them. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

    1. Thanks, Kathy. I'm looking forward to my reading week. Hope you have a good one too.

  4. I've just finished The Widow's Confession and I was disappointed by it too. I was also hoping for a stronger mystery element and found the cover misleading. I love C.C. Humphreys, though. Plague is a great book!

    1. The Widow's Confession had all the elements to be a really good gothic mystery, but didn't quite hit the mark. C.C. Humphreys is a gem.

  5. Hi Yvonne. I like the cover of A Fine Summer's Day. I'm not a big fan of historical fiction though so doubt it'd be my cup of tea. Enjoy!


    1. I often admire covers of books I know I'm never going to read. It's all part of the fun of being a reader. Thanks, Deborah.