Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin


Grief Cottage: A Novel - Gail Godwin

After the death of his mother, 11 year old Marcus is sent to his mother’s aunt who lives in a beach house on an island in South Carolina. A derelict cottage (and it’s sad story)attracts his attention.It is in this cottage that he “meets”a ghost. The ghost of a 15 year old boy,who disappeared during a hurricane in the fifties. But this is in the first place a story about the ghost of a beloved (and departed )mother.It is the ghost of grief and bereavement.I think this is a marvellous story,the pace(probably too slow for some )depicts so well the lazy summer and the slow adjustments of this boy to his new situation,to his aunt,to his new life. Grief cottage is a well chosen title !



The Travelling Bag by Susan Hill



The Travelling Bag: And Other Ghostly Stories - Susan Hill

This book is actually a collection of 4 short stories:A Travelling Bag,Boy Twenty-one, Ann  Baker and The Front Room. And although they do not occur in a 19th century setting they do have a very Victorian atmosphere. They are absolutely delightful (if one can speak of a delightful ghoststory?)If you like your ghost stories bloody, gory and very frightful, then this is definitely not for you. But if you like a ghostly (and mysterious)twist at the end of a good and captivating story,then this is a perfect read !

Heaven’s Crooked Finger by Hank Early


Heaven's crooked finger - Hank Early

Earl Marcus returns to his birthplace, a very rural area in North Georgia, after rumours of sightings of his father(after his death )have reached him. He left this area, his father and especially a rather weird (we’re talking ordeals by snakes here)and intense evangelical church community where his father was a very charismatic preacher and leader, some 30 years previously. Not much has changed,the church still has fervent followers, moonshine is still drunk and the whole area still feels pretty isolated from the rest of the world. To make matters worse, young girls go missing and return completely disoriented, anxious and with strange marks on their body.

This is a very atmospheric novel,one can feel the claustrophobic sensation and the threat of approaching thunderstorms.But as the story evolves,the storyline starts to unravel and the last half/quarter of the book could do with some serious editing. Pity…


A Liebster Award?

Well first up,I have to thank Crystal( nominating me for this(at least for me)unknown award. Apparently there are a couple of rules to follow.  One of them is to give 10 facts,details…about (in this case)this nominee.

Oh well,why not…

I have a flatcoated retriever and a cat(and in their own way they get along )

I like to cook(and I have a rather extensive collection of cookbooks)

I like to shop for food and groceries (and any foreign or new market is likely to be raided by me )

I am a rather voracious reader(mysteries,science fiction,history…)

My favourite seasons are autumn and winter

I spent quite some time at the seaside(again autumn and winter)

I absolutely love candles

I(try)to go for a solid walk with my “little” dog a couple of times a week

I don’t like to go to the movies(yeah,I know…)

And notwithstanding my penchant for the darker months,I definitely would like to go for a swim in the Indian Ocean!

Next up,nominees,well,particularly tricky as I’m an absolute beginner,so every one can be a nominee as far as I’m concerned.

Well,good luck to all the nominees out there🐶🐺




Nine Lessons by Nicola Upson


Nine Lessons: A Josephine Tey Mystery - Nicola Upson

There’s a serial rapist  on the loose in Cambridge (we’re talking inter-war period !)where Josephine Tey is taking care of her friend’s house. Meanwhile a body (apparently burried alive)is found in a London churchyard and certain clues are left with this victim .But as more bodies are discovered they all seem to lead to Cambridge, more precisely to King’s College and their famous choir.

Fact is, I never read anything by Josephine Tey but I liked the idea of having a real(crime)writer on the premises .The interaction between Miss Tey and a very gallant (and still smitten )inspector is adorable (not corny, not sugary,just from time to time awkward ).The mystery (a serial KILLER on the loose )is of a very sound quality. I,personally, enjoyed it. Who needs more…


The Shock by Marc Raabe


The Shock: A disturbing thriller for fans of Jeffery Deaver - Marc Raabe

A woman is abducted in France. Her friend finds her cell phone and with this information he follows her back home to Berlin. There the chase for the abducter, who turns out to be a serial killer, starts in earnest. The storyline is good, up to a certain point,and then it starts to wander. But the style,the writing is lacking something. Perhaps it is due to the translation (it was originally published in German).All in all,after a good start, a bit of a disappointment.