It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

Since my last posting for this meme over two weeks ago not much has been happening on the reading front. The weather turned cool and so outside jobs abandoned due to the heat took precedence over reading. Just when I believed summer had finally lost its sting, a spate of hot, humid days confined me indoors once again. Unfortunately instead of taking advantage of this time to read lethargy set in and made it difficult to focus on any activity for long.

The Orphan Gunner by Sara Knox was the only book I finished. While not a page turner it is a compelling read. The ending was not what I expected and left me feeling sad.

I'm still reading Oliver Twist Investigates by G.M. Best and Mary Anerley: A Yorkshire Tale by R.D. Blackmore and have started two others, The Virgin of the Wind Rose by Glenn Craney and To Love, Honour and Obey by Valerie Holmes. Looking at what I'm currently reading I'm amazed that I have three ebooks and only one print book on the go. Usually, it is the other way around.

I'm still hoping to read Anna Funder's novel, All That I Am, next

What I Read Last Week

The Orphan Gunner by Sara Knox

The Orphan Gunner is an unconventional romance set in bomber command in Lincolnshire during the Second World War. Evelyn and Olive grew up together in the Canabolas Valley near Orange. They are in England at the outbreak of war: Evelyn as a pilot in the Air Transport Auxiliary, Olive in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. They're joined by Evelyn's brother Duncan, a novice gunner in Lancaster L-Love, flying bombing raids over Germany. The raids take their toll on the crew, and the two women are drawn into a plot involving disguise and mistaken identity, to get the exhausted Duncan out of service. The Orphan Gunner explores the seductions of passing, the licence granted by risk, and the selflessness - and selfishness - of sacrifice. The relationship between the two women is portrayed with subtlety and warmth, and an extraordinary sense of historical detail which brings its wartime setting vividly to life.

What I'm Reading Today

Mary Anerley: A Yorkshire Tale by R.D. Blackmore

An early 19th century romance set in Yorkshire. Mary Anerley falls in love with smuggler Robin Lyth, but the relationship is discouraged by Mary's family due to Robin's obscure beginnings and his occupation as a smuggler.

Oliver Twist Investigates by G.M. Best

Who killed Nancy? Did Charles Dickens frame Bill Sykes and if so, why? As an adult, Oliver Twist receives deeply unsettling information written years earlier by Fagin while he was awaiting execution. It convinces Oliver that Dickens did not tell the entire truth about the events leading to Nancy's death. Now Oliver must embark on a complex investigation that takes him into the worst slums of London as he seeks out the whereabouts of some of the most memorable figures from his past—Betsy, Noah Claypole, Mr Bumble, and Charley Bates—not forgetting, of course, the Artful Dodger. Oliver's life is set to change dramatically as he uncovers not only what happened to Nancy, but also the astonishing truth about his own identity.

To Love, Honour and Obey by Valerie Holmes

The year is 1805. Six years ago, Willoughby Rossington’s father was murdered while searching for the kingpin of a smuggling and spy ring. Taken under the wing of his uncle, who is running a counter-intelligence operation against Napoleon’s spies, Willoughby is assigned to take up his father’s last mission—and, hopefully, in the process find who killed his father and bring them to justice. He encounters a young woman, Beth, who works at the local inn. Her spark and resilience against her master’s attempts to break her will strike a chord in him and he, albeit reluctantly, takes her with him when he leaves town. As they begin to talk, he finds out that her master is more involved in the ring that could have been thought. She overheard things and knows things about the seedy side of villages that could be helpful to him and his mission. Though Beth hasn’t had the opportunity for education, she’s smart and quite cunning while still maintaining a child-like wonder. Even as Willoughby makes plans to set her up with a family in order to protect her from the perils of his mission, he finds himself a bit melancholy at the thought of losing her company. Beth is having none of it. She knows she can be of help to Willoughby and isn’t going to be left behind now that she’s found someone nice. Part on purpose, part because of fate, their two lives become intertwined as they race against the villains that plot to destroy them both. Will they uncover the truth behind the smuggling ring and find who is responsible for the death of Willoughby’s father? Can they stay safe as they continue to work their way deeper into the ring?
‘To Love, Honour and Obey’ is a thrilling historical read, perfect for adventurers and historians alike.

The Virgin of the Wind Rose by Glen Craney

While investigating the murder of an American missionary in Ethiopia, rookie State Department lawyer Jaqueline Quartermane becomes obsessed with a magical word square found inside an underground church guarding the tomb of the biblical Adam. Drawn into a web of esoteric intrigue, she and a roguish antiquities thief named Elymas must race an elusive and taunting mastermind to find the one relic needed to resurrect Solomon's Temple. A trail of cabalistic clues leads them to the catacombs of Rome, the crypt below Chartres Cathedral, a Masonic shaft in Nova Scotia, a Portuguese shipwreck off Sumatra, and the caverns under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Intertwined with this modern mystery-thriller, a parallel duel is waged:
The year is 1452. One of the most secretive societies in history, Portugal's Order of Christ, is led by a reclusive visionary, Prince Henry the Navigator. He and his medieval version of NASA merged with the CIA scheme to foil their archenemies, the Inquisitor Torquemada and Queen Isabella of Castile, who plan to bring back Christ for the Last Judgment by ridding the world of Jews, heretics, and unbelievers.
Separated by half a millennium, two conspiracies to usher in the Tribulations promised by the Book of Revelation dovetail in this fast-paced thriller to expose the world's most explosive secret: The true identity of Christopher Columbus and the explorer's connection to those now trying to spark the End of Days.

What I Hope to Read Next

All That I am by Anna Funder

All That I Am is a masterful and exhilarating exploration of bravery and betrayal, of the risks and sacrifices some people make for their beliefs, and of heroism hidden in the most unexpected places.When eighteen-year-old Ruth Becker visits her cousin Dora in Munich in 1923, she meets the love of her life, the dashing young journalist Hans Wesemann, and eagerly joins in the heady activities of the militant political Left in Germany. Ten years later, Ruth and Hans are married and living in Weimar Berlin when Hitler is elected chancellor of Germany. Together with Dora and her lover, Ernst Toller, the celebrated poet and self-doubting revolutionary, the four become hunted outlaws overnight and are forced to flee to London. Inspired by the fearless Dora to breathtaking acts of courage, the friends risk betrayal and deceit as they dedicate themselves to a dangerous mission: to inform the British government of the very real Nazi threat to which it remains willfully blind. All That I Am is the heartbreaking story of these extraordinary people, who discover that Hitler's reach extends much further than they had thought.Gripping, compassionate, and inspiring, this remarkable debut novel reveals an uncommon depth of humanity and wisdom. Anna Funder has given us a searing and intimate portrait of courage and its price, of desire and ambition, and of the devastating consequences when they are thwarted.


  1. Thrilling selection of hisoricals there! I tried to read Blackmore's "Lorna Doone" when I was a teenager but I couldn't understand a word of it! And I'm from Yorkshire and my relatives "ool tahlk' li' thaht', enyraowd" LOL

    1. LOL. I too hail from Yorkshire and remember the dialect though it is many years since I've heard it spoken. The film starring Richard Greene stands out in my memory not the book. Maybe time for a re-read.

  2. Lots of good books awaiting you!

  3. Enjoy your books! I am curious about All That I Am. Thanks for sharing, and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

    1. I missed this one when it was first released in 2011. It has many good reviews.

  4. Wow! To Love, Honour, and Obey sounds like my kind of book. I just added it to my very long list of books I want to read. Thanks for sharing it. Have a great week. :)
    My Monday Post

    1. I'm enjoying To Love, Honour and Obey. Valerie Holmes is an author I've not read before. I also have another of her Regency novels in my TBR pile, A Stolen Heart. Love the covers of the books published by Endeavour Press.