Friday Finds

Stacking the shelves

This is the post where you display your week’s wares – that is, what books have arrived in your household in the last week, by whatever means. This week it’s been one of these weeks where I’m convinced my postman hates me, as lots of exciting proofs arrived, many for future blog tours.

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This is the latest Arnaldur Indridason, who is a favourite ScandiNoir author of mine. Now that leads us very nicely onto Quentin Bates who is, right now at least, best known in the UK as the translator of Ragnar Jonasson’s Dark Iceland series. However, his novel, Thin Ice, is out now, and I’ll be participating in a Blog Tour for it, as I suspect some of you reading may also be doing. I haven’t started it yet, but I’m dying to get into it. The third book above is the third in the Malmo series by Torquil MacLeod, the first two being Meet Me In Malmo and Murder In Malmo. Murder In Malmo was so good this is another I’ll also be looking forward to!

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Now spy novels have long been a real pleasure of mine, partly from being brought up on a diet of James Bond movies, and also from listening to my father talk about the Fleming family, whose shooting lodge was close to the farm we had previously, and who he knew well. Back then Peter Fleming was regarded as the real writer in the family, and he was also married to Celia Johnson, the film star probably best known for Brief Encounter. Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels were regarded as pretty much pulp by the literary establishment, until Sean Connery was cast as 007, and the films became a huge success. Anyway, I heard fantastic things about Adam Brookes’ debut, Night Heron, which I bought, and I’ll be taking part in the Spy Games Blog Tour with pleasure. The British Lion is a book I saw a review of in a blog – I’m sorry, the name escapes me but I’ll do my best to find it so I can credit you – and I thought that sounded like it was just my thing – more skullduggery! On request, the publisher, William Morrow, were generous enough to send me a copy. It’s the second in a series, following on from The Darkest Hour. The third book above comes courtesy of LoveReading, and is first in a series about The Blitz Detective. I’ve read a few utterly superb books about the Blitz recently (Cathi Unsworth’s wonderful Without The Moon, My Book Of The Year for 2015; Lissa Evans’ excellent Crooked Heart – both which I will review!) so I felt I’d carry on and read more about that horrendous period in London’s history. If anyone can recommend a good non-fiction book, I’d be really grateful.

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On a lighter note, David F. Ross follows on from The Last Days Of Disco with The Rise And Fall Of The Marvellous Vespas. This should provide a much-needed lighter note than the books pictured above! And there’s even a 7″ single to accompany it, which I will sample next time I’m at my parents.

So, any thoughts? Is there anything here to tickle your fancy? As always, all comments are most welcome – I love hearing from my fellow bookworms. It reminds you that you’re not the only one sitting there with a book for company until all hours!

15 thoughts on “Friday Finds

  1. I had no idea your father was a friend of the Fleming family! That’s fascinating! You’ve got some good finds there, too. I’ll be keen to know what you think of Oblivion; I like Arnaldur Indriðason’s work very much.

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    • My grandfather actually leased a 6,000 acre farm from them, and my father and uncle helped out on it. It’s on the other side of Cruachan – which they call the hollow mountain, as in the 1950s it was a massive engineering project to boost electricity into the National Grid when required (like half-time when the football was on!) When it was quiet, the water was pumped up, and when electricity was needed they released the water from the manmade loch down to power the giant turbines. It was a highly ambitious project at the time, as you can imagine, and is still used today. For the record, Ian Fleming spent little time at Blackmount, their hunting lodge – he judged it far too cold! His writing was mostly done in Jamaica at his villa, Goldeneye, so he obviously preferred a warm climate! (I don’t blame him for that!)


  2. I’m getting inundated with books at the moment too. Some I’ve requested, which is OK though how I thought I’d ever get through them is a mystery. Then there’s the ones I haven’t requested, which sometimes turn up real gems. And then there are people like you who put me onto books I’d never heard of and now long to read. Curse you! (in the nicest possible way).

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    • You’ll have another unhappy postman! Yes, most publishers and PR companies have got the hint that it’s wisest to e-mail or DM you first to see if it’s your thing, and whether you can fit it in, rather than just sending them out to all bloggers! I hope a couple of these appeal to you – despite your nice curses!


    • Yes, I think that’ll be a really good one. Between my ScandiNoir obsession, and all my spy thrillers, I’ve got lots of great books to read, although at the mo I’m reading Stuart MacBride’s latest for the local paper – and I’ll put a review up on the blog too, obviously!


  3. What a nice bunch of books! I’m interested in Quentin Bates’ book – a new Gunna the cop? I love that series. And very interesting about the Fleming family and your relatives. Love these little tidbits. Enjoy your treasures!

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    • You’re ahead of me, Kay – I’d seen them around, possibly bought for one for the Kindle if there was a deal on (I don’t even want to look, as it’ll remind me of the trillion books in here!) My Dad is one of these people who knows all the farming and “old money” stalking families around the Highlands – some of whom, like the Lovats, have lost their fortune (well, not in the way you or I would lose all our cash – plus an old chum from school could always find them a job “in the City”.) No delight at a crumpled tenner in a coat you haven’t worn for ages…(“Yah, you know, we CAN only start you at 70 a year, mate, but with bonuses you’ll almost, like, double that in your first year…”) By the way, my Dad doesn’t talk like that (oh! the horrors, thank God he doesn’t) – he’s more the hired-help!


    • Another good story he had was when he was in late primary school, maybe early secondary school, he got a day’s work grouse beating for Harold Macmillan and his party. They got their official pay for their days work (a fairly paltry sum, as they were just kids) then Macmillan went round the boys and handed each of them a five pound note – a HUGE amount to them then!


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