It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

The heat and humidity continues ... despite it I finished two very different mysteries last week. One was a Regency mystery, the other was set during Victorian times. I enjoyed both books from two authors I had not read before.

To Love, Honour and Obey is Valerie Holmes' first full length historical novel. A gripping start is followed by lots of twists and turns before the leader of the smuggling and spy ring is unmasked.

Oliver Twist Investigates by G.M. Best is the other book I finished. As a sequel to Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist it is a very believable and intriguing tale. This book is much darker than Dickens' novel and the ending is totally unexpected.

This week I'm still reading Mary Anerley: A Yorkshire Tale by R.D. Blackmore and The Virgin of the Wind Rose by Glenn Craney. I have also started All That I Am by Anna Funder.

I'm not sure what will be up next. I have a few new releases to tempt me, one of which is The Butterfly Summer by Harriet Evans. I also added two classics to my TBR pile, Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy, and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I love the cover of War and Peace which ties in with the latest BBC drama.

What I Read Last Week

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

What I Hope to Read Next

The Butterfly Summer by Harriet Evans

What magic is this?

You follow the hidden creek towards a long-forgotten house.
They call it Keepsake, a place full of wonder ... and danger. Locked inside the crumbling elegance of its walls lies the story of the Butterfly Summer, a story you've been waiting all your life to hear.
This house is Nina Parr's birthright. It holds the truth about her family - and a chance to put everything right at last.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy's beguiling masterpiece entwines love, death and determinism with Russia's war with Napoleon and its effects on those swept up by the terror it brings. The lives of Pierre, Prince Andrei and Natasha are changed forever as conflict rages throughout the early nineteenth century. Following the rise and fall of some of society's most influential families, this truthful and poignant epic is as relevant today as ever.

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

'I shouldn't mind being a bride at a wedding if I could be one without having a husband'
Independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene finds herself attracting three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak, a humble sheep farmer; Frank Troy, a handsome and reckless sergeant; and William Boldwood, a prosperous and mature bachelor.
Each of them, in their own way, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life.
The story of Bathsheba's choices and passions explores the nature of love – and how the human spirit can overcome hardship and adversity.


  1. I read War and Peace in high school, when I was going through a major Russian phase. It's really quite a long soap opera!

    1. I've seen the film starring Audrey Hepburn a number of times, but never had the courage to actually read the book. Here's hoping I get to it!

  2. Oliver Twist Investigates......... intriguing for sure. Nice list.

  3. Good luck with your reading! War and Peace looks intimidating. Here's mine: Monday

    1. Lots of pages with tiny print. It will be a challenge!

  4. I hope you had a good reading week.

    Nice books.

    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading