Monthly Summary: July 2022

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

HollowsJuly’s reading featured thrillers with a mysterious and spooky air to them.
I began with The Hollows, a mysterious tale featuring a holiday gone wrong as a father and daughter discover that their idyllic cabin in the woods is actually in a place with quite a dark past, a past that may be about to have an impact in the present day. I really enjoyed the air of suspense of this, and didn’t want to put it down until all the secrets were revealed.MidnightMan

Next up was The Midnight Man, the first of the Slayton Thrillers. This was similar in that it was a thriller with a slightly spooky air that added a little something extra. In this case there was a marvellously creepy abandoned old house, a Halloween game gone wrong, and trouble from the past coming back in the present. I enjoyed this just as much as The Hollows.

BillySummersMy third book of this month was Billy Summers by Stephen King. I was looking forward to a new Stephen King novel as I’ve been rereading some of his older books recently so something new was good. Billy Summers has no horror, although there’s a mention towards the conclusion of a certain possibly haunted hotel. It’s a story of an assassin hired for one last job, and of course, one last job is never that easy, and that’s certainly the case for Billy.

So, some good books read this month. I also updated my Challenge Check-In post, looking at the various bingo cards I’m attempting this year, and I had time for a book tag featuring a number of the books I’ve enjoyed so far this year.

Here’s a summary of July on Pages and Tea…

Book Reviews

Hollows MidnightMan

The Hollows by Mark Edwards

The Midnight Man (Slayton Thrillers #1) by Caroline Mitchell

Featured Posts

Book Tags

The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag: 2022 Edition

Other New Posts

Challenge Check-In April to June 2022

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2022

July Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: May 2022

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

DeathontheNileMay has been the month of the murder mystery in my reading. It began with a river cruise down the Nile in the company of Monsieur Poirot and a whole boatful of intriguing characters as I finally picked up Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie. I have no idea why it’s taken me so long to get around to reading this, I had a great time with it, and would probably read it again, even knowing the solutions to the central murder and the other little mysteries going on aboard the S. S. Karnak. Such an exotic setting too.

From the Nile, I chose another book set in Egypt, although this time in aDeathComesastheEnd completely different time period. I picked another Agatha Christie, Death Comes as the End. A standalone murder mystery, it doesn’t feature one of Christie’s regular detectives, but there is an investigation of sorts as family dramas play out and eventually lead to murder. The remaining members must discover who is out to get them before it’s too late.

And then… yet more murder mysteries. What can I say, it seems to be what I’ve been in the reading mood for this month. This time, a whole host of short stories MurderbytheSeasidegathered together in a collection called Murder by the Seaside. In this case the title says it all as all these stories had a seaside/coastal setting, and introduced me to some new-to-me authors.

I’ve actually managed to keep up with reviews this month, so links to my reviews for all these books are provided below.

And I think that’s about all for now. So, here’s a summary of May on Pages and Tea…

Book Reviews

DeathontheNile DeathComesastheEnd MurderbytheSeaside

Death on the Nile (Hercule Poirot #17) by Agatha Christie

Death Comes as the End by Agatha Christie

Murder by the Seaside by Cecily Gayford

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

May 2022

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2022

May Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: April 2022

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

BeautifulOnesIt’s time for another monthly summary.

April began with a book by an author I’ve previously enjoyed as I picked up The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. What I really like is that each book I’ve picked up by this author has been completely different in every way, and I can’t wait to try another of her books. So far I think Mexican Gothic remains my favourite.

RoomintheAtticNext, a new-to-me author, Louise Douglas. The cover of The Room in the Attic first attracted my attention but the story sounded like one I might enjoy and that turned out to be the case. It’s a dual-timeline mystery with an atmospheric and eerie setting in All Hallows, a grand old building that served as an asylum/hospital in one timeline and a boarding school in the other. I enjoyed the book so much that I’d like to check out more by Louise Douglas.

I managed to check up on some more reviews this month, including my most recent Dark Tower read, The Wind Through the Keyhole. I would like to get back to the series soon and begin Wolves of the Calla.

Top Ten Tuesday also featured this month. I made use of the ‘freebie’ topic to create a list of books featuring lighthouses or sailing ships as I seem to have come across quite a few of those recently, many of which have made their way onto my TBR pile and into that blog post.
I also wrote about some of the authors I haven’t read yet, but want to. For that post I choose series or trilogies, but there are many standalone books from authors I’d like to check out to, so perhaps that will feature in another Top Ten Tuesday sometime.

Here’s a summary of April on Pages and Tea…

Book Reviews

MurderisEasy WindThroughtheKeyhole RoomintheAttic

Murder is Easy (Superintendent Battle #4) by Agatha Christie

The Wind Through The Keyhole (The Dark Tower #4.5) by Stephen King

The Room in the Attic by Louise Douglas

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

April 2022

Top Ten Tuesday

Lighthouses and Sailing Ships

Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2022

April Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: March 2022

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

ParisApartmentMarch started out as the month of mysteries in terms of my reading as my first read of March was The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley. I’d previously read The Hunting Party by the same author so I was looking forward to this, and it didn’t disappoint. Short chapters, changing viewpoints, mysterious characters and a wonderfully creepy setting made this a real page turner and I found myself thinking ’just one more chapter’ several times so it didn’t take me long to read this at all.

MurderisEasyFrom a mystery based in Paris I ventured to a country village in England for Murder is Easy by Agatha Christie. A story confided by a stranger whilst on a train journey leads Luke Fitzwilliam to venture to the village to discover whether there really is a serial killer operating there.

FoundrysideFrom crime and mystery I wandered back into fantasy territory as I finally picked up Foundryside. I’ve had this book for a long time and somehow it finally found it’s way into my reading time. I wish it had happened sooner. I really enjoyed this first in the Founders Trilogy. It’s exciting, has plenty of action, plenty of intrigue, interesting and unique characters (Clef!), and I plan to carry on to Shorefall soon.

My ongoing read is Fingersmith. It’s a reread and I’m enjoying taking my time with it, rediscovering the story.

When I wasn’t reading I’ve managed to catch up with a few reviews this month as well – a mix of mystery, crime and horror stories have all featured on my blog , and I also posted my first Challenge Check-In, having a look at how I’m doing with the book bingo challenges I’m attempting this year.

Here’s a summary of March on Pages and Tea…

Book Reviews

ParisApartment NothingButBlackenedTeeth Buried

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

Buried (DC Jack Warr #1) by Lynda La Plante

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

March 2022

Other New Posts

Challenge Check-In January to March 2022

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2022

March Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: February 2022

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

Such a quiet month on the blog, and also in my reading, so this Monthly Summary is probably going to be pretty short!

WindThroughtheKeyholeI finally went back to my Dark Tower reread, picking up The Wind Through the Keyhole, which is actually book #4.5 in the series as it was written after the series was complete and fits between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of the Calla. For this reason it doesn’t advance the central story of Roland and his ka-tet at all, but with it’s story within a story within a story format it was a great addition to the series and I really enjoyed discovering it all over again, particularly the fairytale-ish story from Roland’s own childhood.

I posted a review for another recent read that I really enjoyed, The Noise by James Patterson and J. D. Barker. An unexpected surprise and one that I couldn’t tear myself away from without reading just one more chapter. Very exciting.

Here’s a summary of February on Pages and Tea…

Book Reviews

Noise

The Noise by James Patterson and J. D. Barker

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

February 2022

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2022

February Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: January 2022

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

OnceandFutureWitchesThe new year of reading is underway and has included a variety of genres so far. I started out with fantasy as I finally picked up The Once and Future Witches. I’d wanted to read this book for a while as I enjoyed The Ten Thousand Doors of January and wanted to check out Alix E. Harrow’s next novel. This didn’t disappoint at all. I was totally drawn in to this tale of three sisters and their desire to bring about a new age of magic and empowerment for themselves and women just like them. Family and found family, a cast of intriguing characters and enough magic and conflict to keep me turning the pages. A good choice for my first read of the year.

NothingButBlackenedTeethFrom fantasy to horror, my next choice was the novella Nothing But Blackened Teeth. That cover! It’s a fast-paced tale about a group of friends who venture off to an abandoned mansion to celebrate the upcoming wedding of two of their party. The appeal for them is the story of the house, the heartbroken bride said to still linger, awaiting the groom who never arrived. The party descends into violence and chaos quickly as tensions mount between the group and the house seems to come alive around them. I wanted something different and this certainly was!

BuriedOnto some crime next, one of my under-explored genres mentioned in my Reading Resolutions. I don’t tend to read much crime at all, but picked up Buried, the first book featuring Jack Warr. A tale that starts out with a burnt out cottage but leads to links with crimes from previous decades proved an entertaining beginning to this series. Jack Warr himself becomes an interesting character as his search for his biological father takes him to unexpected places and changes his attitude going forward.

My Beat the Backlist challenge is off to quite a good start; all these books can count towards the challenge, and I managed to find a category for each on them on Beat the Backlist Bingo, which is much easier at the beginning of the year when there are so many categories available!
I’ve also seen a lovely photo prompt bingo card which I mentioned in my monthly Reading Review and I might try and have a go at that too.

Away from the books I completed my first book tag of the year, the Good Intentions tag created by Lynn, in which I looked at books read and books yet to read (and there are many).

Here’s a round up of January on Pages and Tea…

Book Reviews

OnceandFutureWitches

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

Featured Posts

Book Tags

The ‘Good Intentions’ Book Tag

Other New Posts

2021 End of Year Survey

Beat the Backlist 2022 Challenge

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2022

January Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: November 2021

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

November has been a month of good reads, even if there were only two books involved…

First, ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. I picked this one up to conclude my spooky season reading, but didn’t quite make it to the end last month. I also wanted to reread it as I’m hoping to return to my Dark Tower series reread some time soon and one of the characters in book 5 appears in ‘Salem’s Lot. I couldn’t remember the way his story ended in this book, so thought I’d refresh my memory before resuming my Tower reread.

In a total change of theme, setting, pace, I next ventured to the Untheileneise Court as I finally decided to read The Goblin Emperor. A gentle fantasy tale with a good-hearted central character, I found this to be a charming read. At first I was a little put off by all the long titles/names, but soon found myself absorbed within these magical pages. I couldn’t wait to get back to reading it, to find out what Maia would face next, and how he would deal with it.

Away from the books The End of the Year Book Tag made an appearance on the blog this month. I’ve completed this tag in previous years and thought it would be nice to revisit it now.

Here’s what happened on Pages and Tea during November…

Book Reviews

WizardandGlass SecretHistory

Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower #4) by Stephen King

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

November 2021

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2021

November Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: October 2021

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

October has been another slow-paced month of reading but what I read I enjoyed. I focussed on books for Readers Imbibing Peril, an event that concludes this month. As always I’ve enjoyed participating and reading a spooky-ish read or two.

First up this month, Crooked House by Agatha Christie, a murder mystery featuring a country estate and a family which provides a whole host of potential suspects. This is a standalone story and doesn’t feature one of Christie’s well-known detectives and I enjoyed all the different possibilities thrown up before the truth was revealed.

Next I ventured to Baneberry Hall as I read Home Before Dark by Riley Sager. It is a story within a story featuring a potentially haunted house with a troubled history, and a woman who spent a few brief weeks there in her childhood before the family fled the house, never to return, leaving all their possessions behind who reluctantly returns to find out what happened all those years ago. I enjoyed the mystery, and the way to two stories unfolded. Perfect reading for these darker autumn nights.

And my latest read, which I’ll probably talk about again as I certainly won’t finish it this month – ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. This is another reread. I’ve decided to try it again because it’s a great book to wind up spooky season, and also one of the characters features in the next Dark Tower book that I’ll pick up at some point soon, so I wanted to remind myself of the story before I continue with the Tower.

Away from the books I indulged my liking for autumn with an updated edition of the Finally Fall Book Tag. It’s one I’ve completed for a couple of years now and I like picking out new books to suit the theme.

Here’s what happened on Pages and Tea during October…

Book Reviews

CrookedHouse HomeBeforeDark

Crooked House by Agatha Christie

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

October 2021

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2021

October Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress


Read-A-Thon Updates

#RIPXVI – Readers Imbibing Peril XVI – Sign Up and Progress Post

Events

RIPXVI

#RIPXVI – Readers Imbibing Peril XVI

Monthly Summary: September 2021

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

Autumn is here, Readers Imbibing Peril is happening, and my first month of Peril reading provided quality if not quantity…

I finally read The Secret History. I feel like I’ve mentioned this book over many previous autumn TBR list posts but never actually got around to reading it. This year, I did. What a book. A tale of friendship and murder on a college campus, it’s more of a why-done-it than whodunit and finding out the answer made for intriguing reading. I was sad to reach the end of this one, and I must admit it left me with no clue what to pick up for my next read. Eventually, despite a pretty extensive TBR list for Readers Imbibing Peril, I settled on an Agatha Christie and have now started Crooked House, which I suppose still qualifies for Peril as it’s a murder mystery.

And that’s all I read during September.

Elsewhere on the blog Top Ten Tuesday saw me writing about books with numbers in the title, and also provided me with an opportunity to look over my autumn TBR list.

Here’s what happened on Pages and Tea…

Book Reviews

ThisIsHowYouLosetheTimeWar

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

September 2021

Top Ten Tuesday

Books With Numbers In the Title

Books on My Autumn 2021 TBR List

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2021

September Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress


Read-A-Thon Updates

#RIPXVI – Readers Imbibing Peril XVI – Sign Up and Progress Post

Events

RIPXVI

#RIPXVI – Readers Imbibing Peril XVI

Monthly Summary: August 2021

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

August is drawing to an end, another month of reading is complete and I’ve just realised something coincidental in terms of my reading.
This time last year I discovered The Sleep Tight Motel, a short story by Lisa Unger, and I talked about how much I’d enjoyed it, despite not usually being a big fan of short stories.
This year, you guessed it, I’m talking about short stories, in this case a series of linked stories, four in total, that make up a series called House of Crows by the very same author, Lisa Unger.
Mysterious, eerie, two timelines, a group of childhood friends drawn back to a house with so much character that it almost becomes a character, this series had all that I’d enjoyed about the Sleep Tight Motel and even more.

It’s been a good month of reading, and now my thoughts are turning to potential reads for next month and also next season.

Here’s a summary of August on Pages and Tea…

Book Reviews

DevilandtheDarkWater AllMyDarkestImpulses FogDescending

CirclingTheDrain LoveTheWayYouLie

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

House of Crows (series review) by Lisa Unger

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

August 2021

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2021

August Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress