Friday Face-Off – 23rd October 2020

Friday Face-Off – 23rd October 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s Friday Face-Off theme is a cover that is ripped or torn. This week I have picked The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

And the winner is… COVER H!

This one really hit the nail on the head for me in terms of the theme. The old newspapers over the cover torn asunder to reveal the image behind really caught my eye. Then the image itself, chilling. Cover G was a close second for me, there is something haunting about the red wash over it, and that lone child’s soft toy on the floor – very ominous.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover featuring a forest or jungle: “None of the Jungle People like being disturbed.”

Friday Face-Off – 16th October 2020

Friday Face-Off – 16th October 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s Friday Face-Off theme is a cover featuring spider’s web: “Farewell, Aragog, king of the arachnids, whose long and faithful friendship those who knew you would never forget!” This week I picked The Spider’s Web by Joseph Roth.

And the winner is… IT’S A DRAW!

I’ve not had a draw in a while. Cover A is just beautiful. It’s so simple, but the stunning shapes of the spider web with the little dew droplets is just incredible. Cover E is the other winner. I’ve not read this book, but I read the synopsis, and this cover is fitting. It’s rather chilling, the stylised spider with the face of Hitler sat in the middle of his web. It’s quite an imposing image, and very portentous given the time it was written and what came next.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover that is ripped or torn – interpret that as you will.

Friday Face-Off – 9th October 2020

Friday Face-Off – 9th October 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s Friday Face-Off theme is a cover featuring mist or fog: “A thin grey fog hung over the city, and the streets were very cold; for summer was in England.” This week I’ve gone with The Mist by Stephen King.

And the winner is… COVER C!

The eerie silhouette in the thick mist, the outline of the hands. And to cap it off, the bloody smears. That one wins it for me.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover featuring a spider web: “Farewell, Aragog, king of the arachnids, whose long and faithful friendship those who knew you would never forget!”

Andorra Pett Takes a Break by Richard Dee

Andorra Pett Takes a Break by Richard Dee

Yearning for peace and quiet with her partner, Derek, Andorra Pett heads home to the space mine off Saturn. It’s been a while since she left, she wants to be among her friends again.
Despite her good intentions, she soon gets dragged in station politics, so it’s a relief when the chance of a holiday comes up.
All she has to do is give a speech on the maiden voyage of the Solar Breeze, a new type of cruise ship. A voyage around the solar system will soon be the must-have vacation. Andorra will be one of the first to try it, along with the great and the good.
But nothing is ever simple in Andorra’s life. Things get really serious when the Solar Breeze is hijacked by eco-terrorists. They want an end to the dumping of rubbish on Mars.
Or else!
Andorra’s trip on the Solar Breeze might just be the voyage of a lifetime.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author in exhange for an honest review.

Richard Dee returns with Andorra Pett Takes a Break, the fourth full-length novel in the cosy crime series. Following her escapades back on Earth with her older sister, Andi is back on the space station close to the rings of Saturn. Ready for some much-needed rest, she cannot wait to return to the Oort Cloud Cafe, her friend Cy and her partner Derek. But with senior members of the OLC aboard to hash out contract negotiations with the miners, things are as busy as ever. When an opportunity for a free trip around the Sun on the latest cruise liner comes up, it’s too good an opportunity to take some time out with Derek and relax. But as is always the case when Andi is involved, nothing runs smoothly for long.

Andorra Pett Takes a Break by Richard Dee

Having read the previous novels in the series, returning for a fourth is very comforting. I know I can settle down and have finished the story in a few sittings. It’s like returning to something comfortable and so familiar. I love returning to characters I now feel I know so well. A sub-cast of new characters are handled fantastically well. I felt myself rooting for or against these, which I feel is testament to Richard Dee’s ability to create characters with depth, that are believable, and yet not need to labour on it over the course of an entire series.

With a cosy crime, there needs to be plenty of mystery and intrigue. There has to be some malevolent force bent on committing misdeeds somewhere down the line. And it has to be easy-reading, entertaining and fun to pick up in my opinion. Sometimes, as a series draws on, it begins to feel like the same tropes and cliches come to the fore, or that the writer is struggling for new ideas to keep things fresh. Thus far, Richard Dee has not suffered this problem. The story is brilliant. The unconventional crime-fighting style of Andi and her cohorts remains as entertaining as ever, if not more so. In past reads, Andi has ended up walking into situations through trying to help people out. It’s in her nature. This time out, I loved the way that even in giving her a holiday, Dee has found a new way into having her stroll right into trouble without even knowing it.

With each subsequent book in the Andorra Pett series, things keep improving. The characters grow, the new characters are interesting and the stories keep me entertained. Already I am looking forward to the arrival of the next book, though not so much at having to wait until 2021 for it!

My rating:

Friday Face-Off – 2nd October 2020

Friday Face-Off – 2nd October 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s Friday Face-Off theme is a cover that features a striking font. This week I’ve gone with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic The Great Gatsby.

And the winner is… COVER E!

This one screams of the Art Deco era. The font, the design work and the colours. It works on all levels for me.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover featuring mist or fog: “A thin grey fog hung over the city, and the streets were very cold; for summer was in England.”

The Keepers by J.M. Richardson

The Keepers by J.M. Richardson

Some tales are timeless. As timeless as the waters of the Thames; as the stones in the White Tower. Tales of love. Hate. Betrayal. Murder. Dr. James Beauregard, hunted across London by a hidden enemy, must grapple with a new and deadly tale—his own. He must make sense of his past. Battle for his future. And perhaps the only ones that can help him are The Keepers.

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author in exhange for an honest review.

Dr. James Beauregard, an acclaimed history professor with more demons than any man should harbour returns for another adventure. Following a lecture in London James does what he does best, heads out in search of a drink. In his favourite watering hole in the city, he runs into an old family friend. What at first appeared to be a chance encounter, turned into a meeting of dark revelations and deadly consequences. What ensues is a frantic dash around London to unearth history, discover a secret order dating back centuries and prevent a lethal attack.

The Keepers by J.M. Richardson

Over the years, I’ve read the preceding books in the James Beauregard series. I’ve also come to know the author, J.M. Richardson, quite well. He’s a meticulous author, stubbornly determined to ensure everything he writes is accurate in every possible way. As a Brit, living close to London, I have been keen to read this book from the moment he told me it was going to be set in London. When he sent it to me as an early copy, he told me he was a touch nervous having it read by someone living near to London.

That was a concern he need not have entertained. The facts and locations were accurate to the point of obsessive. It was brilliant to read about all the action and drama going on in places I know. The accuracy, in fact, was such that there are even a few places in the book that I’ve never heard of. I went off to Google places and was surprised and thrilled to discover places I’ll have to visit the next time I head to the city.

And then there is the history. As I have grown to expect when I read these books, the historic elements are so detailed and factually correct I cannot help but be absorbed by these novels. The characters are all so rich and diverse. They are all so human, flawed, and vibrant in equal measures. The story itself is intense. I cannot help but find myself feeling tense, on the edge of my seat, as the book rolls towards its climax. The story is well-written. It’s tense, frenetic and kept me guessing from start to finish. I had no idea what to expect or where it was going to end up. Once again, Richardson has scored a touchdown with his third outing for James Beauregard. I cannot wait to see if he has anything more in store for him!

My rating:

Friday Face-Off – 25th September 2020

Friday Face-Off – 25th September 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s Friday Face-Off theme is a cover that is busy. I’ve chosen Sir Terry Pratchett’s Guards! Guards!

And the winner is… COVER D!

This one is the one I own. Pictures never do the covers in this series any justice. Vibrant colours, stunning foils. Just an incredible design. Cover A is my second choice design – it’s an iconic design and certainly fits the bill as being busy.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover with a standout font.

Friday Face-Off – 18th September 2020

Friday Face-Off – 18th September 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s Friday Face-Off theme is a cover that is minimalist. I’ve gone with a book that, though I’ve never read it, seems to get more and more timely with every passing year – 1984 by George Orwell.

And the winner is… COVER A!

This one has got to be one of the simplest designes I think I have picked for a Friday Face-Off, let alone as a winner. The clinical, sterile white with that startling blue eye watching all is somewhat disconcerting. Cover B is a close second this week!

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover with a busy design.

Friday Face-Off – 11th September 2020

Friday Face-Off – 11th September 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s Friday Face-Off theme is a cover that is patterned. I’ve selected Great Expectations by Charles Dickens for this theme.

And the winner is… COVER D!

A simple design, but very striking. I love the rich colours too.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover with a minimalistic design.

Friday Face-Off – 4th September 2020

Friday Face-Off – 4th September 2020

The Friday Face-Off is a meme originally created by Books by Proxy and now hosted over at Lynn’s Books. The idea is to compare the different covers of a book with each week being a certain theme.

This week’s Friday Face-Off theme is a cover that gives off winter vibes – “in the winter she curls up with a good book and dreams the cold away.” This week I have chosen The Katharina Code by Jørn Lier Horst.

And the winner is… COVER A!

The snowy landscape is just incredible. The lone figure wandering off into the forest of trees, with a slight inviting glow of light in the distance. The footprints in the snow are a final touch that finishes this design off.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my winner, or does one of the others work better for you? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s theme is a cover with a patterned design.