Down the TBR Hole # 14

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Welcome once again to Down the TBR Hole! This is my twelfth time doing this and, unfortunately, I’ve added several books to my TBR since the last time I did this. I just couldn’t help myself! So many wonderful sounding books are being announced, I would be remiss to leave any of them out. Lets see if we can cull any of the older ones today, shall we?

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

 

Murder as a Fine Art (Thomas De Quincey #1) by David Morrell  – Gaslit London is brought to its knees in David Morrell’s brilliant historical thriller.

Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his memoir ‘Confessions of an English Opium-Eater’, is the major suspect in a series of ferocious mass murders identical to ones that terrorized London forty-three years earlier.

The blueprint for the killings seems to be De Quincey’s essay “On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts.” Desperate to clear his name but crippled by opium addiction, De Quincey is aided by his devoted daughter Emily and a pair of determined Scotland Yard detectives.

In ‘Murder as a Fine Art’, David Morrell plucks De Quincey, Victorian London, and the Ratcliffe Highway murders from history. Fogbound streets become a battleground between a literary star and a brilliant murderer, whose lives are linked by secrets long buried but never forgotten.

On a fence. Big fence. I already own a physical copy of this book and I’ve tried to read it but there is a murder at the beginning that bothers me. I don’t mind violence in movies and books but I don’t like when there is a kid and/or innocent animal involved in the violence.

Verdict: tenor

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers – Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Well, this one is a piece of cake.

Verdict: KEEP

Olmec Obituary (Dr Pimms, Intermillennial Sleuth #1) by L.J.M. Owen – Archaeologist Dr Elizabeth Pimms thoroughly enjoys digging up old skeletons.

But when she is called home from Egypt after a family loss, she has to sacrifice her passions for the sake of those around her.

Attempting to settle into her new role as a librarian, while also missing her boyfriend, Elizabeth is distracted from her woes by a new mystery: a royal Olmec cemetery, discovered deep in the Mexican jungle, with a 3000-year-old ballplayer who just might be a woman.

She soon discovers there are more skeletons to deal with than those covered in dirt and dust.

Suitable for readers young and old, Olmec Obituary is the first novel in a delightful cosy crime series: Dr Pimms, Intermillennial Sleuth. Really cold cases.

I wish I could get my hands on this. Getting in the states without paying through the nose has proved to be a major pain. None the less, I still want it.

Verdict: KEEP

Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1) by Danielle Paige – I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado – taking you with it – you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a yellow brick road – but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm – and I’m the other girl from Kansas.

I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I’ve been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.

I actually bought a copy of this a while back…to be honest, I’m not sure why. I’ve never been an Oz or Dorothy fan. Easy call.

Verdict: tenor

Marie Antoinette: The Last Queen of France by Évelyne Lever – In MARIE ANTOINETTE, Evelyn Lever draws on a variety of resources, including diaries, letters, and firsthand accounts, to write this sumptuous, addictive delight. From family life in Vienna to the choke of the guillotine, this gripping work combines a fast-paced historical narrative with all the elements of scandalous fiction: Marie’s wedding at Versailles to Louis XVI, the French court, boredom, hypocrisy, loneliness, allies, enemies, scandal, intrigue, sex, peasant riots, the fall of the Bastille, mob rule in Paris, imprisonment, and, finally, execution.

From primary source documents Lever fashions an insightful glimpse into the French court at Versailles. The characters of court are expertly drawn. There is the dashing Axel Fersen, Marie’s great love; Maria Theresa, the scheming mother trying to place her daughter on the Hapsburg throne; the legendary Madame du Barry, lover to Louis XV; and, of course, Marie herself.

Luxuriously evocative of the Versailles court, historically sharp and witty, and detailing the compelling story of Marie Antoinette’s life, Evelyn Lever’s biography entrances readers.

Having a soft spot for this time period, this biography interested me. However, not enough so to ever pick it up. Marie Antoinette is not a historical figure that has enough draw for me to actually dive into this.

Verdict: tenor

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street (The Watchmaker of Filigree Street #1) by Natasha Pulley – A sweeping, atmospheric narrative that takes the reader on an unexpected journey through Victorian London, Japan as its civil war crumbles long-standing traditions, and beyond.

1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later, the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties. 

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a sweeping, atmospheric narrative that takes the reader on an unexpected journey through Victorian London, Japan as its civil war crumbles long-standing traditions, and beyond. Blending historical events with dazzling flights of fancy, it opens doors to a strange and magical past.

You know how some authors writing style can be off putting? That is Pulley for me. I got an ARC of her new book after I had added this to my TBR and, while the story is well crafted and detailed, the tenor of her writing just doesn’t flow with me.

Verdict: tenor

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Ah, I love a satisfying TBR purge, don’t you? I still have 154 book in my pile but it is nice to remove a few I’ve lost interest in.

6 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole # 14

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