Difference between revisions of "Book Reviews From The Bookbag"

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<metadesc>Book review site, with books from most walks of literary life; fiction, biography, crime, cookery and children's books plus author interviews and top tens.</metadesc>
 
<metadesc>Book review site, with books from most walks of literary life; fiction, biography, crime, cookery and children's books plus author interviews and top tens.</metadesc>
 
<h1 id="mf-title">The Bookbag</h1>
 
<h1 id="mf-title">The Bookbag</h1>
Hello from The Bookbag, a site featuring books from all the many walks of literary life - [[:Category:Fiction|fiction]], [[:Category:Biography|biography]], [[:Category:Crime|crime]], [[:Category:Cookery|cookery]] and anything else that takes our fancy. At Bookbag Towers the bookbag sits at the side of the desk. It's the bag we take to the library and the bookshop. Sometimes it holds the latest releases, but at other times there'll be old favourites, books for the children, books for the home. They're sometimes our own books or books from the local library. They're often books sent to us by publishers and we promise to tell you exactly what we think about them. You might not want to read through a full review, so we'll give you a quick review which summarises what we felt about the book and tells you whether or not we think you should buy or borrow it. There are also lots of [[:Category:Interviews|author interviews]], and all sorts of [[:Category:Lists|top tens]] - all of which you can find on our [[features]] page. If you're stuck for something to read, check out the [[Book Recommendations|recommendations]] page.
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Hello from The Bookbag, a site featuring books from all the many walks of literary life - [[:Category:Fiction|fiction]], [[:Category:Biography|biography]], [[:Category:Crime|crime]], [[:Category:Cookery|cookery]] and anything else that takes our fancy. At Bookbag Towers the bookbag sits at the side of the desk. It's the bag we take to the library, the charity shop and the bookshop. Sometimes it holds the latest releases, but at other times there'll be old favourites, books for the children, books for the home. They're sometimes our own books or books from the local library. They're often books sent to us by publishers and we promise to tell you exactly what we think about them. You might not want to read through a full review, so we'll give you a quick review which summarises what we felt about the book and tells you whether or not we think you should buy or borrow it. There are also lots of [[:Category:Interviews|author interviews]], and all sorts of [[:Category:Lists|top tens]] - all of which you can find on our [[features]] page. If you're stuck for something to read, check out the [[Book Recommendations|recommendations]] page.
  
 
There are currently '''{{PAGESINCATEGORY:Reviews}}''' reviews at TheBookbag.
 
There are currently '''{{PAGESINCATEGORY:Reviews}}''' reviews at TheBookbag.
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===[[Her Final Confession (Detective Josie Quinn Book 4) by Lisa Regan]]===
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===[[Sunlight 24 by Merritt Graves]]===
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category: Science Fiction|Science Fiction]]
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If the game wasn’t fair before, it’s definitely not fair now. Or so thinks Dorian Waters, part of the ever-expanding portion of humanity who can’t afford the nano-implant and genetic augmentation regimen known as Revision. And because he can’t afford Revision, he can’t get into college, he can’t get a job. And when he sees the brilliant and mesmerizing Lena for the first time, he knows he doesn’t have a chance with her, either. And so, Dorian robs a house with his best friend, Ethan. Then they do it again. They’re able to keep at it until they have enough money saved up for their first Revision. Their initial choices in self-enhancement start impacting their future choices, which in turn impact their future Revision––on and on in a downward spiral of self-destruction... [[Sunlight 24 by Merritt Graves|Full Review]]
  
[[image:3.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]]
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Detective Josie Quinn is no longer Chief of Police, but in many ways that's something of a relief, although it does mean that she doesn't quite have the autonomy that she had.  It also means that the other detectives have a habit of calling her 'boss'.  IT's the autonomy bit that strikes home though when she has to watch a fellow officer being arrested for a cold-blooded murder, but what other conclusion can you come to when the officer goes missing, her vehicle and phone are off the radar and there's the body of a young man in her driveway?  Josie Quinn can't believe that Gretchen - the woman she brought onto the Denton police force - could be guilty of such a crime, but she and Noah Fraley are not going to have much time to prove that Gretchen is innocent, and Gretchen doesn't seem inclined to help them. [[Her Final Confession (Detective Josie Quinn Book 4) by Lisa Regan|Full Review]]
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===[[The Woods Murder by Roy Lewis]]===
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===[[Drowned Lives by Stephen Booth]]===
  
 
[[image:3.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]]
 
[[image:3.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]]
  
Jenny Carson was just nine years old when she was murdered whilst taking a shortcut through Kenton Woods.  Her father blamed lawyer Charles Lendon for her death - not that he thought he was physically responsible, but because Lendon had refused to allow the local children to use his driveway as a shortcut to school, forcing them to cut through the woods if they were lateLendon wasn't a popular man - he would say that lawyers never are - partly because of his attitudes, but his incessant womanising had made him a lot of enemiesWhen Lendon was murdered a couple of months after Jenny's death, there was no shortage of suspects. [[The Woods Murder by Roy Lewis|Full Review]]
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When council officer Chris Buckley is approached by an old man who wants his help in healing a decades' old family rift he's reluctant to get involved, but then Chris is reluctant to get involved in anything but a pint in the pub these days.  It could just be the way that he is, or the fact that he's just lost both his parents within three months of each otherHe's currently existing in the family home and wondering when he's going to be made redundant from his job with the council.  The short answer to that one is 'soon'.  Chris does his best to deter the old man, but it's not before he's left a lot of papers with his neighbourThen the old man is murdered and the police come calling on Chris. [[Drowned Lives by Stephen Booth|Full Review]]
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===[[Murder at the Manor Hotel (Melissa Craig 4) by Betty Rowlands]]===
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===[[Financial Accounting Essentials You Always Wanted To Know: 4th Edition by Kalpesh Ashar]]===
  
[[image:3.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]]
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Business and Finance|Business and Finance]]
  
Melissa Craig should have been getting on with writing her latest mystery novel but she'd been sidetracked into working on the script for a pantomime.  It wasn't a traditional panto, but a spoof for the birthday party of a local millionaire, to be held on HalloweenIt's got all the hallmarks of a mystery ''and'' a pantomime and it looks as though cast and audience are all in for a good time with the rehearsals being held in a luxury hotelWell, they were until one member of the cast turns up dead in the cellar at the bottom of a steep flight of stairsWhat was he doing there and why is the hotel manager acting so strangely? [[Murder at the Manor Hotel (Melissa Craig 4) by Betty Rowlands|Full Review]]
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''Financial Accounting Essentials You Always Wanted to Know ''gives people without an accounting background, who have risen in a company, the knowledge to understand the accounts which show how the company is doingThe book begins by looking at why financial accounting systems are necessary, then moves on to give an excellent overview of the types of accounting systems which will be encountered and the terms usedWe then look in detail at the balance sheet, the income statement and the statement of cash flows.  If you understand these three sections on a set of accounts they will tell you a storyYou will understand the company (or indeed any other business) but if you don't understand what's there you will be missing vital clues as to whether or not the company is thriving. [[Financial Accounting Essentials You Always Wanted To Know: 4th Edition by Kalpesh Ashar|Full Review]]
  
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===[[Salvation by Peter F Hamilton]]===
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===[[Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh]]===
  
[[image:3.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Science Fiction|Science Fiction]]
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[[image:3.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Teens|Teens]], [[:Category:Graphic Novels|Graphic Novels]]
  
Apparently the term ''space opera'' was coined in 1941 as a pejorativeIt was borrowed not from the high-brow musical art form, but from the common or garden 'soap opera'.  It related to a particular kind of science fiction which the coiner (one Wilson Tucker) described as a ''hacky, grinding, stinking, outworn, spaceship yarn''.   It would be fifty years later before the term started to be re-appropriated to cover – if still the same themes of distant futures, military conflict, heroism and a simplistic set of values more literary, more expansive works.  The term is now taken as compliment. [[Salvation by Peter F Hamilton|Full Review]]
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Harleen Quinzel is new in townShe always, to me, seems new in town, even if she's been around a long time, for she always has a very fresh attitude, and seems to look out of those large eyes at everything anew each time. But here she is new in town, and the town is Gotham City.  Expecting a year-long furlough from life with her mother, she finds her gran dead and herself with no option but to stay with a bunch of drag queens.  She also finds school is a drag, she also finds the whole neighbourhood is being redeveloped by a large and uncaring corporation – but she also finds two characters that will have a big impact on her life.  One is a civil-minded lass called Ivy, the other someone she only meets at night a lad with a singular graffiti tag and a mind for violence and chaos, who calls himself The Joker… [[Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh|Full Review]]
  
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===[[House of Glass by Susan Fletcher]]===
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===[[The Summer Book by Tove Jansson]]===
  
[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Literary Fiction|Literary Fiction]], [[:Category:Historical Fiction|Historical Fiction]]
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[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[Literary Fiction]]
  
Clara suffered from ''Osteogenesis imperfecta'': these days it would probably be called brittle bone disease and whilst there is still no cure, treatments have advanced.  At the beginning of the twentieth century it meant that Clara was confined to her home, living life through a window and the tales her mother, Charlotte, brought home.  Both became far too knowledgeable about bones and the sounds they made on breaking.  Charlotte would ''list bones like continents''.  Clara would only escape the house after her mother's death - of a tumour at the age of thirty nine - and in her wanderings discovered Kew Gardens.  Her growing knowledge of tropical plants led to the offer of a job stocking a newly-built glass house at Shadowbrook in Gloucestershire. [[House of Glass by Susan Fletcher|Full Review]]
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Tove Jansson's short novel about Summer is several worlds away from the Moomintrolls she is most famous for outside her native Scandinavia. Book yourself an afternoon this Summer, and take yourself and The Summer Book somewhere quiet, preferably within sight and sound of the sea, settle back and prepare to be transported. [[The Summer Book by Tove Jansson|Full Review]]
  
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===[[Under the Ice (DCI Jansen) by Rachael Blok]]===
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===[[The Dirty Dozen (Jane Tennison 5) by Lynda La Plante]]===
  
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]]
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[[image:3.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]]
  
It's eleven days to Christmas and the cathedral city of St Albans is looking particularly festive with a covering of snow, but this belies the atmosphere: the body of a young girl has been found frozen in the local lakeDCI Jansen's only lead comes from Jenny Brennan - but can you put any credence on statements made by the sleep-deprived mother of a four month old child, particularly one who claims to have seen visions?  Can you believe her statements that she's been sleep-walking in the middle of the night when she find evidence that the police have missed? When another girl goes missing the tiny city is in melt-down and for Jenny it all seems close to homeFar too close to home. [[Under the Ice (DCI Jansen) by Rachael Blok|Full Review]]
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Jane Tennison had worked hard to get a place on the Flying Squad and she felt that she was there on meritThe Squad wondered who she'd slept with to get the place and bets were being taken as to who she'd sleep with in the first week.  What none of them - Jane included - knew was that she was there as an experiment, in the hope that a female presence would have a calming effect. The job had been advertised and Jane was the only female who applied who ticked all the boxesShe doesn't tick all the boxes for the head of the Squad, DCI Murphy.  He wanted someone with at least ten years' experience, and the appropriate set of genitals - and he's determined that Jane will fail. [[The Dirty Dozen (Jane Tennison 5) by Lynda La Plante|Full Review]]
  
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===[[The Light Between Worlds by Laura Weymouth]]===
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===[[The Girl at the Window by Rowan Coleman]]===
  
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Teens|Teens]]
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[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:General Fiction|General Fiction]], [[:Category:Paranormal|Paranormal]]
  
Five years ago Evelyn, Philippa and James Hapwell escaped to the safety of their air raid shelter as bombs fell all around the streets of London. In the terrifying darkness waiting for their parents to join them, Evelyn prayed to be anywhere else.  
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Trudy Heaton is going home, to a house where her roots burrow back through the centuries and to a mother she hasn't spoken to for sixteen years. Home, her refuge, Ponden Hall, where she can heal herself and try to come to terms with the traumatic loss of her husband. She needs to build bridges with her mother and convince her grieving son that his father is dead.  Where better than the house full of light and shadow, that nurtured her throughout her childhood? [[The Girl at the Window by Rowan Coleman|Full Review]]
A plea that was answered by The Woodlands. One moment in grey London and the next surrounded by a rich green forest, the three children were transported from one world trapped in war, to another on the brink of its own. [[The Light Between Worlds by Laura Weymouth|Full Review]]
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===[[Clownfish by Alan Durant]]===
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===[[We Are The Dead by Mike Shackle]]===
  
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Confident Readers|Confident Readers]]
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[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Fantasy|Fantasy]]
  
When Dak's dad dies very suddenly, from a heart attack, Dak is left feeling lost and alone. His mum is lost inside her own grief, struggling to take care of herself, let alone care for Dak, and so he escapes to the local aquarium - somewhere that both he and his dad had loved.   But then he discovers that actually, his dad has turned into a clownfish and is living at the local aquarium!  What will Dak do when the aquarium's future is in question, and he may potentially lose his dad all over again? [[Clownfish by Alan Durant|Full Review]]
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Mike Shackle has written a really interesting and unusual story in ''We Are The Dead''; the tag line for the novel is 'No More Heroes' and that is what makes this story so different. There are villains galore but no specific heroes; rather the story is scattered with characters doing their own small part to survive, to fight back, and to find vengeance, in a world that has been utterly torn apart. The plot does not hang on any one character, no one is important, anyone can die and many do, but, like ants working together, each small character achieves their own part of a much larger plot that is rich and complex and keeps the reader glued to the story. [[We Are The Dead by Mike Shackle|Full Review]]
  
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===[[Cost Accounting & Management Essentials You Always Wanted To Know by Vibrant Publishers]]===
  
===[[Only the Ocean by Natasha Carthew ]]===
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[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Business and Finance|Business and Finance]], [[:Category:Reference|Reference]]
  
[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Teens|Teens]]  
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I'm capable of drawing up a profit and loss account (income statement in the USA) and a balance sheet and I do so for my own business and for another organisation.  The accounts give me ''broadly'' what I need: I know whether we're making a profit or a loss and I can look at the expenses and see what looks as though it could be trimmed back in future years. My problem was that the accounts didn't really give me any help in making decisions, which was why I turned to ''Cost Accounting and Management'', part of Vibrant Publishers' Self-Learning and Management series.  Cost accounting provides the information required by authorities external to the company ''and'' to those within it who need to make decisions, so don't worry that you're going to have to draw up two sets of accounts! [[Cost Accounting & Management Essentials You Always Wanted To Know by Vibrant Publishers|Full Review]]
  
Kel Crow lives with a heart defect that could kill her at any time. Her only hope is to escape the floodridden, waterlogged Cornish world she lives in, to leave her drug-running family far behind, and get to America with enough money for an operation. She has a plan: stowaway on a ship, kidnap a rich girl, exchange the girl for enough money for the journey to America and the surgery that will change her life.  [[Only the Ocean by Natasha Carthew |Full Review]]
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===[[Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake]]===
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===[[A Dance of Cranes by Steve Burrows]]===
  
[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Teens|Teens]], [[:Category:Fantasy|Fantasy]]
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]], [[:Category:Thrillers|Thrillers]]
  
''You cannot put on a costume and become something else. You are a queen of Fennbirn island.''
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DCI Domenic Jejeune is no longer with Lindy Hey, the estrangement being of his making, not hersHe hasn't explained to her that he is doing this - and leaving for his native Canada - because he thinks that this will keep her safe from his nemesis, Ray Hayes.  Lauren Salter has been promoted to sergeant and now has her first murder case. It looks as though there's an obvious suspect, but Salter isn't so certain.  Sgt Danny Maik is (unofficially) keeping an eye on Lindy Hey, whilst Jejeune embarks on a treacherous journey to rescue his brother, Damian, who has gone missing in one of Canada's largest national parks. [[A Dance of Cranes by Steve Burrows|Full Review]]
   
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Following on from [[Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake|Three Dark Crowns]] and its sequel [[One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake|One Dark Throne]], in ''Two Dark Reigns'' each of the Goddess' daughters have their own battles to fight. All her life, Katharine has dreamed of being the great Queen the island of Fennbirn deserves. Having won the crown though, she is facing trial after difficult trial and murmurs of dissent and revolution grow louder on the streets each and every day. And without evidence of her sisters' death does anyone but herself and the old queens buried under her skin, believe she is the one true Queen? [[Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake|Full Review]]
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===[[A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult]]===
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===[[The Triumph of the Spider Monkey by Joyce Carol Oates]]===
  
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:General Fiction|General Fiction]]
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]], [[:Category:Thrillers|Thrillers]], [[:Category:General Fiction|General Fiction]]
  
The Center is the last remaining abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi and is the source of great controversy when it comes to the Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice debate. It is at The Center where one man, George Goddard, takes it upon himself to get revenge for the loss of his grandchild, in the form of a mass-shooting. What arises is a novel that details the lives of the remaining hostages, as well as other characters central to the story. One of these characters is Hugh McElroy, a hostage negotiator called in to help deflate the situation, who soon discovers that his sister and daughter, Wren, happened to be at the clinic that day. [[A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult|Full Review]]
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Bobby is an angry, damaged man - damage that came from being abandoned as a baby in a bus station locker, and then being thrown from one foster home or detention centre to another, never far from violence or abuse. Eager to succeed as a musician, he arrives in Hollywood to find his dream - but it soon becomes clear that his paranoid delusions and seething rage will enable a capacity for acts of extreme violence. Unpublished for 40 years, this edition of ''The Triumph of the Spider Monkey'' comes combined with a connected novella – ''Love, Careless Love''. [[The Triumph of the Spider Monkey by Joyce Carol Oates|Full Review]]
  
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===[[Gentleman Jack (DI Yates 7) by Christina James]]===
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===[[The Last Spell Breather by Julie Pike]]===
  
[[image:3.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]]
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[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Confident Readers|Confident Readers]]
  
The investigation into the thefts of farm machinery has been going on for months and it's getting DI Tim Yates down: he can't see where to go next. It's almost a relief when Jack Fovargue, agricultural entrepreneur and local celebrity is assaulted in the street, but no one can understand why Fovargue is so reluctant to help the police with their enquiries, or to press charges, particularly when a police officer was also assaulted.  Yates is then diverted into the investigation which followed the discovery of the headless body of a woman in a canal near Lincoln: it's an interesting case but the downside is that the senior investigating officer is DI Michael Robinson. They're contemporaries but Robinson is bumptious and inclined to taking credit for other people's efforts. [[Gentleman Jack (DI Yates 7) by Christina James|Full Review]]
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Rayne lives in the small, hidden village of Penderin where she is a somewhat unwilling apprentice to her mother, the spell breather. Not everyone can spell breathe, you have to born with a magic spark and Rayne wishes she hadn't been born with one. She's a terrible spell breather, her attempts are always followed by disaster and she positively hates Mam's spell book with it's sharp teeth that suck your blood. When a stranger finds their village one day, Mam must set off on a journey to the great library, leaving Rayne in the village as their chief spell breather, but an unfortunate mistake sees Rayne breaking her mother's book and turning everyone in to monsters. She must face her fear travel across the monster-ridden country to find Mam and restore the book to save their village. [[The Last Spell Breather by Julie Pike|Full Review]]
  
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===[[A Clean Death by Adriaan Verheul]]===
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===[[I, Cosmo by Carlie Sorosiak]]===
  
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Thrillers|Thrillers]], [[:Category:Crime|Crime]]
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[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Confident Readers|Confident Readers]]
  
Three very different men meet in the jungle, led there by fate. Davey sees conspiracies everywhere, Oliver seeks answers about the death of his father, and Captain Christmas leads a community of armed men, women and children, hidden far from justice in the forest. As the three men are brought together, the events could cause each to lose something of consequence: maybe illusion, maybe conviction, and maybe, just maybe, life itself… [[A Clean Death by Adriaan Verheul|Full Review]]
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Cosmo's family is in crisis. Mom and Dad argue all the time. Emmaline doesn't quite understand it because she's too little but she feels it. And Max, who is bigger, does understand it and is terrified by it. Long ago, when Max was just a baby, Cosmo made a promise to protect Max forever and so he sets about his mission of repairing the family with everything he's got...  [[I, Cosmo by Carlie Sorosiak|Full Review]]
  
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===[[Beyond Thought by Chris Dhladhla]]===
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===[[Don't Drink the Pink by B C R Fegan]]===
  
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Lifestyle|Lifestyle]]
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:For Sharing|For Sharing]]
 
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Have you ever felt trapped by your own thoughts? That your mind is so busy processing what's going on in the world around you that you just can't catch a moment and simply ''be''? Or that the outside world just won't stop pressing in upon an inner life that you'd like to be more peaceful? [[Beyond Thought by Chris Dhladhla|Full Review]]
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Madeline is very fond of Grandfather Gilderberry. He's always busy in his workshop, creating crazy potions, and he always has a smile on his face. Madeline's dad thinks he's a bit bonkers and Madeline's mum thinks the same but gives him a pass because he's old. But Madeline? She thinks Grandfather Gilberberry is just great. Particularly on her birthday when he unfailingly arrives with a selection of potions and allows her to choose one as a gift. And he always says the same thing...  [[Don't Drink the Pink by B C R Fegan|Full Review]]
  
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===[[Where the Truth Lies (DI Ridpath) by M J Lee]]===
 
  
[[image:3.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]]
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===[[The Years of Fading Magic by Kenelm Averill]]===
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''What if you could subtly change the lives of ordinary people around you?''
  
DI Thomas Ridpath - call him Ridpath as he doesn't think Tom or Thomas suits him - looked to have a promising future in CID until he was forced to take extended sick leave nine months ago.  He's back, but the word ''cancer'' leaves people doubting how well you really are, or are going to stay. Perhaps it would be better if he quietly retired?  His wife, Polly, would like to see him in a desk job.  Ridpath would like to be back in front-line policing, but all that's available to him is a secondment for three months as Coroner's Officer. If that's how it's got to be, then he'll do the best job he can. [[Where the Truth Lies (DI Ridpath) by M J Lee|Full Review]]
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Jessica Turner was one of the more radical teens to come out of Eastfield. A youth spent hanging out with a close crowd of friends was characterised by Jessica's role as trendsetter, as influencer, as leader. Strangely charismatic, Jessica invited fascination and obsession. Nobody who met her, forgot her. Or the days they spent in the Enclosure, a clearing in Eastfield woods that Jessica felt gave her power. But the group went its separate ways, as adolescent groups do, and her influence faded...[[The Years of Fading Magic by Kenelm Averill|Full Review]]
  
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===[[Tales of Love and Disability by Laura Solomon]]===
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===[[Clear My Name by Paula Daly]]===
  
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Short Stories|Short Stories]]
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[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime|Crime]], [[:Category:Thrillers|Thrillers]]
  
I've always believed that less-able writers produce longer books: it takes a great deal of skill and talent to write a short story which holds the reader and keeps them coming back for moreThere are far too many collections of short stories which are all too easy to put down and forget after you've read a couple of piecesI've recently read a couple of novellas by Laura Solomon - [[Marsha's Deal by Laura Solomon|Marsha's Deal]] and [[Hell's Unveiling by Laura Solomon|Hell's Unveiling]] and enjoyed them, so I was intrigued to see what she could do with an even shorter form. [[Tales of Love and Disability by Laura Solomon|Full Review]]
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Tess Gilroy works for Innocence UK, a charity investigating the cases of prisoners who can convince them that they've been wrongly convicted and they're just moving on to their next caseShe's somewhat surprised when Clive, the head of the charity, announces that she'll have someone shadowing herAvril's in her mid twenties and rather gauche as well as prone to putting her foot in it.  One of the reasons they're now going to look at the case of Carrie Kamara is that she's female and Innocence have never yet taken up the case of a woman: such impressions matter. [[Clear My Name by Paula Daly|Full Review]]
  
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===[[A Snapshot of Murder (Kate Shackleton Mysteries) by Frances Brody]]===
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===[[The Simple Act of Self-Publishing With Amazon: A Simple Step by Step Guide by Georgianne Landy-Kordis ]]===
  
[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Crime (Historical)|Crime (Historical)]]
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[[image:4.5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Business and Finance|Business and Finance]], [[:Category:Reference|Reference]], [[:Category:Self-Publishing|Self Publishing]]
  
Even detectives need a break and for Kate Shackleton, photography gives her the mental relaxation which she needs.  When the local Photographic Society proposed an outing, Kate was keen to take the opportunity to visit Haworth and Stanbury, not least because the deeds of the Brontë Parsonage are being handed over so that it can become a museum and her parents will be there for the eventWhat could be better than seeing her family, witnessing a momentous event and having the opportunity to take photographs of the setting for ''Wuthering Heights''? Nothing could go wrongOr could it? [[A Snapshot of Murder (Kate Shackleton Mysteries) by Frances Brody|Full Review]]
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I frequently meet authors who are struggling to be published by the traditional houses, but when I suggest self-publishing they explain that they don't have the big bucks required to go down that road with Author Solutions or Matador or their like.  I then ask if they've considered Kindle and the answer is inevitably that they wouldn't know where to start.  I can empathise with thatDespite having used a computer for about thirty years, running most of my life ''and'' a website on line, I'm still nervous when it comes to starting something new. I like someone to hold my hand as I go through it for the first timeThat was why I was very interested when ''The Simple Act of Self Publishing With Amazon'' came across my desk.  Author Georgianne Landy-Kordis doesn't profess to be a computer expert: she's simply someone who has done this many times and she's giving us the benefit of her experience and without any added chitchat. [[The Simple Act of Self-Publishing With Amazon: A Simple Step by Step Guide by Georgianne Landy-Kordis |Full Review]]
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===[[Just Another Girl on the Road by S Kensington]]===
  
===[[The Afterwards by A F Harrold and Emily Gravett]]===
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Historical Fiction|Historical Fiction]]
  
[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Confident Readers|Confident Readers]]  
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When Sergeant Farr and Corporal Valentine first encountered Katrinka Badeau she was just eighteen years old and fleeing from a farmhouse and a group of German deserters who had raped her.  Despite being outnumbered she was giving just about as good as she got when Farr and Valentine intervened and finished the group off.  It was 1944 and Farr and Valentine were part of the Jedburgh unit, EDMOND, lead by Major Willoughby Nye.  Nye recognised Katrinka immediately - he'd worked on her father's merchant ship and Katrinka had once had a crush on Nye. When he offered her a job with his unit, she accepted. [[Just Another Girl on the Road by S Kensington|Full Review]]
  
''Tell them what The Afterwards is about, they said.''<br>
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''Hopefully you know this, but...''<br>
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''It's a book with friendship in it.''<br>
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''It's a book with death in it.''<br>
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''It's a book with betrayal in it.''<br>
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''It's a book with love in it.''<br>
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''It's a book with a cat in it.''<br>
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''That's what I know.''<br>
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''That's what I can tell you.''<br>
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''That'll do me.''
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To be honest, I'd be surprised if that wouldn't do you, too.[[The Afterwards by A F Harrold and Emily Gravett|Full Review]]
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===[[Rose, Interrupted by Patrice Lawrence]]===
  
===[[Santa Goes on Strike by Jem Vanston]]===
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Teens|Teens]]
  
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:For Sharing|For Sharing]]
 
  
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Rose and her brother Rudder have recently escaped from cult-like fundamentalist Christian sect, the Pilgrims, along with their mother. While Mum works endless hours at agency cleaning jobs trying to keep the rent paid on their tiny flat, Rose and Rudder are trying to navigate the worldly world. It's not easy when everything is new and the rigid rules you've always lived by are suddenly missing.  [[Rose, Interrupted by Patrice Lawrence|Full Review]]
  
Something's gone horribly wrong. It's Christmas Eve and everything is very busy in Santa's grotto. The presents are all ready and waiting to be loaded onto the sleigh and the reindeer are itching to get going. But Santa? Santa is just not in the mood. He is tired of delivering the latest toys to children who only play with them for five minutes. He wishes people would remember what Christmas is really about - a time for families to come together for love and friendship and goodwill to one another. [[Santa Goes on Strike by Jem Vanston|Full Review]]
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===[[Something to Tell You by David Edwards]]===
  
===[[The Coming of the Spirits by Rob Keeley]]===
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Dystopian Fiction|Dystopian Fiction]]
  
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Confident Readers|Confident Readers]]  
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Sam Murray and Bert Leinster had been friends for a long time.  Bert was Sam's boss at CERN, but this never seemed to affect the way that the families got on.  Bert's wife, Natalia, was Russian and seriously rich.  Their twins, fifteen-year-olds Allie and Josh, went to a private boarding school, but at weekends they were great friends with Sam's two children, Liam and Hannah.  Sam's wife, Briony, was head of product research at Nestlé.  Life was good for all eight of them, until Sam - a particle physicist - spotted that the rate at which Higgs Boson particles were hitting the earth had risen exponentially.  It's enough of a problem for Sam and Bert to drag the head of CERN, Prof Ralph Moyeur, out of a family lunch.  Then Bert started having conversations with a plant called Lily. [[Something to Tell You by David Edwards|Full Review]]
  
 
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<!-- Behrend -->
In Victorian England, young Edward Fitzberranger is about to be infected with scarlet fever and die. Further back still in time, Sir Francis Fitzberranger is about to marry Tina, the love of his life. In the modern day, Henry and Luke are getting on with life. And in an alternate timeline, Ellie is working for a resistance movement and struggling under a Britain ruled by the Nazis...  [[The Coming of the Spirits by Rob Keeley|Full Review]]
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===[[Snowglobe by Amy Wilson]]===
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===[[You're the Froth On My Soy Cappuccino: Poems for the Present by Don Behrend]]===
  
[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Confident Readers|Confident Readers]], [[:Category:Teens|Teens]]  
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[[image:4star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Anthologies|Anthologies]]  
  
Jago doesn't like Clementine. He knows there is something different about her and he doesn't like it. And he never lets her forget it. Clementine knows she's different too, and that the difference is magic. And as much as she tries to ignore it, Clementine's magic is getting stronger. So when Jago's bullying gets too much, it's not really surprising that Clem loses control of it and gets herself suspended from school.  [[Snowglobe by Amy Wilson|Full Review]]
+
''You're the Froth On My Soy Cappuccino'' begins with ''A Modern Love Story'':
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===[[The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig and Chris Mould]]===
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''You’re the froth on my soy cappuccino''<br>
 +
''You’re the spread on my paleo toast''<br>
 +
''You’re the nose of my GM-free Pinot''<br>
 +
''You’re organic, my love. You’re the most!''<br>
  
[[image:5star.jpg|link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews]] [[:Category:Confident Readers|Confident Readers]], [[:Category:For Sharing|For Sharing]]
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Ha! How can you not laugh at this gently mocking take on love in the hipster world?  [[You're the Froth On My Soy Cappuccino: Poems for the Present by Don Behrend|Full Review]]  
 
+
Poor old Truth Pixie. She's cursed! She can't speak unless it's to tell the truth. You might think this is a good thing because telling lies is bad, right? But sometimes the truth isn't nice and sometimes a white lie is okay and sometimes it's better to say nothing at all. You might not want to attract the attention of the school bully by calling him mean and nasty, for example, or you might not want to tell someone that you think their brand new haircut looks awful.  [[The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig and Chris Mould|Full Review]]
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Latest revision as of 10:43, 19 August 2019

The Bookbag

Hello from The Bookbag, a site featuring books from all the many walks of literary life - fiction, biography, crime, cookery and anything else that takes our fancy. At Bookbag Towers the bookbag sits at the side of the desk. It's the bag we take to the library, the charity shop and the bookshop. Sometimes it holds the latest releases, but at other times there'll be old favourites, books for the children, books for the home. They're sometimes our own books or books from the local library. They're often books sent to us by publishers and we promise to tell you exactly what we think about them. You might not want to read through a full review, so we'll give you a quick review which summarises what we felt about the book and tells you whether or not we think you should buy or borrow it. There are also lots of author interviews, and all sorts of top tens - all of which you can find on our features page. If you're stuck for something to read, check out the recommendations page.

There are currently 15,234 reviews at TheBookbag.

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Read new reviews by category.

Read the latest features.

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Sunlight 24 by Merritt Graves

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Science Fiction

If the game wasn’t fair before, it’s definitely not fair now. Or so thinks Dorian Waters, part of the ever-expanding portion of humanity who can’t afford the nano-implant and genetic augmentation regimen known as Revision. And because he can’t afford Revision, he can’t get into college, he can’t get a job. And when he sees the brilliant and mesmerizing Lena for the first time, he knows he doesn’t have a chance with her, either. And so, Dorian robs a house with his best friend, Ethan. Then they do it again. They’re able to keep at it until they have enough money saved up for their first Revision. Their initial choices in self-enhancement start impacting their future choices, which in turn impact their future Revision––on and on in a downward spiral of self-destruction... Full Review

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Drowned Lives by Stephen Booth

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime

When council officer Chris Buckley is approached by an old man who wants his help in healing a decades' old family rift he's reluctant to get involved, but then Chris is reluctant to get involved in anything but a pint in the pub these days. It could just be the way that he is, or the fact that he's just lost both his parents within three months of each other. He's currently existing in the family home and wondering when he's going to be made redundant from his job with the council. The short answer to that one is 'soon'. Chris does his best to deter the old man, but it's not before he's left a lot of papers with his neighbour. Then the old man is murdered and the police come calling on Chris. Full Review

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Financial Accounting Essentials You Always Wanted To Know: 4th Edition by Kalpesh Ashar

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance

Financial Accounting Essentials You Always Wanted to Know gives people without an accounting background, who have risen in a company, the knowledge to understand the accounts which show how the company is doing. The book begins by looking at why financial accounting systems are necessary, then moves on to give an excellent overview of the types of accounting systems which will be encountered and the terms used. We then look in detail at the balance sheet, the income statement and the statement of cash flows. If you understand these three sections on a set of accounts they will tell you a story. You will understand the company (or indeed any other business) but if you don't understand what's there you will be missing vital clues as to whether or not the company is thriving. Full Review

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Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens, Graphic Novels

Harleen Quinzel is new in town. She always, to me, seems new in town, even if she's been around a long time, for she always has a very fresh attitude, and seems to look out of those large eyes at everything anew each time. But here she is new in town, and the town is Gotham City. Expecting a year-long furlough from life with her mother, she finds her gran dead and herself with no option but to stay with a bunch of drag queens. She also finds school is a drag, she also finds the whole neighbourhood is being redeveloped by a large and uncaring corporation – but she also finds two characters that will have a big impact on her life. One is a civil-minded lass called Ivy, the other someone she only meets at night – a lad with a singular graffiti tag and a mind for violence and chaos, who calls himself The Joker… Full Review

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The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Literary Fiction

Tove Jansson's short novel about Summer is several worlds away from the Moomintrolls she is most famous for outside her native Scandinavia. Book yourself an afternoon this Summer, and take yourself and The Summer Book somewhere quiet, preferably within sight and sound of the sea, settle back and prepare to be transported. Full Review

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The Dirty Dozen (Jane Tennison 5) by Lynda La Plante

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime

Jane Tennison had worked hard to get a place on the Flying Squad and she felt that she was there on merit. The Squad wondered who she'd slept with to get the place and bets were being taken as to who she'd sleep with in the first week. What none of them - Jane included - knew was that she was there as an experiment, in the hope that a female presence would have a calming effect. The job had been advertised and Jane was the only female who applied who ticked all the boxes. She doesn't tick all the boxes for the head of the Squad, DCI Murphy. He wanted someone with at least ten years' experience, and the appropriate set of genitals - and he's determined that Jane will fail. Full Review

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The Girl at the Window by Rowan Coleman

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews General Fiction, Paranormal

Trudy Heaton is going home, to a house where her roots burrow back through the centuries and to a mother she hasn't spoken to for sixteen years. Home, her refuge, Ponden Hall, where she can heal herself and try to come to terms with the traumatic loss of her husband. She needs to build bridges with her mother and convince her grieving son that his father is dead. Where better than the house full of light and shadow, that nurtured her throughout her childhood? Full Review

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We Are The Dead by Mike Shackle

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy

Mike Shackle has written a really interesting and unusual story in We Are The Dead; the tag line for the novel is 'No More Heroes' and that is what makes this story so different. There are villains galore but no specific heroes; rather the story is scattered with characters doing their own small part to survive, to fight back, and to find vengeance, in a world that has been utterly torn apart. The plot does not hang on any one character, no one is important, anyone can die and many do, but, like ants working together, each small character achieves their own part of a much larger plot that is rich and complex and keeps the reader glued to the story. Full Review

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Cost Accounting & Management Essentials You Always Wanted To Know by Vibrant Publishers

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance, Reference

I'm capable of drawing up a profit and loss account (income statement in the USA) and a balance sheet and I do so for my own business and for another organisation. The accounts give me broadly what I need: I know whether we're making a profit or a loss and I can look at the expenses and see what looks as though it could be trimmed back in future years. My problem was that the accounts didn't really give me any help in making decisions, which was why I turned to Cost Accounting and Management, part of Vibrant Publishers' Self-Learning and Management series. Cost accounting provides the information required by authorities external to the company and to those within it who need to make decisions, so don't worry that you're going to have to draw up two sets of accounts! Full Review

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A Dance of Cranes by Steve Burrows

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime, Thrillers

DCI Domenic Jejeune is no longer with Lindy Hey, the estrangement being of his making, not hers. He hasn't explained to her that he is doing this - and leaving for his native Canada - because he thinks that this will keep her safe from his nemesis, Ray Hayes. Lauren Salter has been promoted to sergeant and now has her first murder case. It looks as though there's an obvious suspect, but Salter isn't so certain. Sgt Danny Maik is (unofficially) keeping an eye on Lindy Hey, whilst Jejeune embarks on a treacherous journey to rescue his brother, Damian, who has gone missing in one of Canada's largest national parks. Full Review

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The Triumph of the Spider Monkey by Joyce Carol Oates

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime, Thrillers, General Fiction

Bobby is an angry, damaged man - damage that came from being abandoned as a baby in a bus station locker, and then being thrown from one foster home or detention centre to another, never far from violence or abuse. Eager to succeed as a musician, he arrives in Hollywood to find his dream - but it soon becomes clear that his paranoid delusions and seething rage will enable a capacity for acts of extreme violence. Unpublished for 40 years, this edition of The Triumph of the Spider Monkey comes combined with a connected novella – Love, Careless Love. Full Review

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The Last Spell Breather by Julie Pike

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers

Rayne lives in the small, hidden village of Penderin where she is a somewhat unwilling apprentice to her mother, the spell breather. Not everyone can spell breathe, you have to born with a magic spark and Rayne wishes she hadn't been born with one. She's a terrible spell breather, her attempts are always followed by disaster and she positively hates Mam's spell book with it's sharp teeth that suck your blood. When a stranger finds their village one day, Mam must set off on a journey to the great library, leaving Rayne in the village as their chief spell breather, but an unfortunate mistake sees Rayne breaking her mother's book and turning everyone in to monsters. She must face her fear travel across the monster-ridden country to find Mam and restore the book to save their village. Full Review

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I, Cosmo by Carlie Sorosiak

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers

Cosmo's family is in crisis. Mom and Dad argue all the time. Emmaline doesn't quite understand it because she's too little but she feels it. And Max, who is bigger, does understand it and is terrified by it. Long ago, when Max was just a baby, Cosmo made a promise to protect Max forever and so he sets about his mission of repairing the family with everything he's got... Full Review

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Don't Drink the Pink by B C R Fegan

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews For Sharing

Madeline is very fond of Grandfather Gilderberry. He's always busy in his workshop, creating crazy potions, and he always has a smile on his face. Madeline's dad thinks he's a bit bonkers and Madeline's mum thinks the same but gives him a pass because he's old. But Madeline? She thinks Grandfather Gilberberry is just great. Particularly on her birthday when he unfailingly arrives with a selection of potions and allows her to choose one as a gift. And he always says the same thing... Full Review

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The Years of Fading Magic by Kenelm Averill

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Fantasy

What if you could subtly change the lives of ordinary people around you?

Jessica Turner was one of the more radical teens to come out of Eastfield. A youth spent hanging out with a close crowd of friends was characterised by Jessica's role as trendsetter, as influencer, as leader. Strangely charismatic, Jessica invited fascination and obsession. Nobody who met her, forgot her. Or the days they spent in the Enclosure, a clearing in Eastfield woods that Jessica felt gave her power. But the group went its separate ways, as adolescent groups do, and her influence faded...Full Review

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Clear My Name by Paula Daly

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Crime, Thrillers

Tess Gilroy works for Innocence UK, a charity investigating the cases of prisoners who can convince them that they've been wrongly convicted and they're just moving on to their next case. She's somewhat surprised when Clive, the head of the charity, announces that she'll have someone shadowing her. Avril's in her mid twenties and rather gauche as well as prone to putting her foot in it. One of the reasons they're now going to look at the case of Carrie Kamara is that she's female and Innocence have never yet taken up the case of a woman: such impressions matter. Full Review


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The Simple Act of Self-Publishing With Amazon: A Simple Step by Step Guide by Georgianne Landy-Kordis

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Business and Finance, Reference, Self Publishing

I frequently meet authors who are struggling to be published by the traditional houses, but when I suggest self-publishing they explain that they don't have the big bucks required to go down that road with Author Solutions or Matador or their like. I then ask if they've considered Kindle and the answer is inevitably that they wouldn't know where to start. I can empathise with that. Despite having used a computer for about thirty years, running most of my life and a website on line, I'm still nervous when it comes to starting something new. I like someone to hold my hand as I go through it for the first time. That was why I was very interested when The Simple Act of Self Publishing With Amazon came across my desk. Author Georgianne Landy-Kordis doesn't profess to be a computer expert: she's simply someone who has done this many times and she's giving us the benefit of her experience and without any added chitchat. Full Review

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Just Another Girl on the Road by S Kensington

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Historical Fiction

When Sergeant Farr and Corporal Valentine first encountered Katrinka Badeau she was just eighteen years old and fleeing from a farmhouse and a group of German deserters who had raped her. Despite being outnumbered she was giving just about as good as she got when Farr and Valentine intervened and finished the group off. It was 1944 and Farr and Valentine were part of the Jedburgh unit, EDMOND, lead by Major Willoughby Nye. Nye recognised Katrinka immediately - he'd worked on her father's merchant ship and Katrinka had once had a crush on Nye. When he offered her a job with his unit, she accepted. Full Review

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Rose, Interrupted by Patrice Lawrence

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Teens


Rose and her brother Rudder have recently escaped from cult-like fundamentalist Christian sect, the Pilgrims, along with their mother. While Mum works endless hours at agency cleaning jobs trying to keep the rent paid on their tiny flat, Rose and Rudder are trying to navigate the worldly world. It's not easy when everything is new and the rigid rules you've always lived by are suddenly missing. Full Review

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Something to Tell You by David Edwards

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Dystopian Fiction

Sam Murray and Bert Leinster had been friends for a long time. Bert was Sam's boss at CERN, but this never seemed to affect the way that the families got on. Bert's wife, Natalia, was Russian and seriously rich. Their twins, fifteen-year-olds Allie and Josh, went to a private boarding school, but at weekends they were great friends with Sam's two children, Liam and Hannah. Sam's wife, Briony, was head of product research at Nestlé. Life was good for all eight of them, until Sam - a particle physicist - spotted that the rate at which Higgs Boson particles were hitting the earth had risen exponentially. It's enough of a problem for Sam and Bert to drag the head of CERN, Prof Ralph Moyeur, out of a family lunch. Then Bert started having conversations with a plant called Lily. Full Review

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You're the Froth On My Soy Cappuccino: Poems for the Present by Don Behrend

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Anthologies

You're the Froth On My Soy Cappuccino begins with A Modern Love Story:

You’re the froth on my soy cappuccino
You’re the spread on my paleo toast
You’re the nose of my GM-free Pinot
You’re organic, my love. You’re the most!

Ha! How can you not laugh at this gently mocking take on love in the hipster world? Full Review