My Favourite Reads banner 2020

Hello, fellow booklovers, and welcome to My Favourite Reads.

One of the best things about winter is the extra time I have to snuggle up with a good book because the weather is poopy, and no good for golfing, lunching, walking etc. And it’s been exceptionally poopy here lately, with cold and non-stop rain. At least we’re not flooded, unlike some poor folk.

June was a good month again, with nine books under my belt. They were all so much fun (except for the non-fiction, that was NOT fun at all) that I’m going to fence sit again and not choose a favourite. Sometimes it’s just too hard!


The Curse of Morton Abbey by Clarissa HarwoodThe Curse of Morton Abbey by Clarissa Harwood

Ooh, I do love a gothic read, where nothing is as it seems and creepiness abounds. The Curse of Morton Abbey fitted the bill perfectly.

After the death of her beloved solicitor father, Vaughan Springthorpe is determined to make her own way as a solicitor – anything’s better than moving in with her sister and mother. She takes up a too-good-to-be-true position at Morton Abbey, her task to set the property up for sale. Morton Abbey though, is not as it seems. There are strange noises and screams in the night, even gunshots, and someone or something seems determined to undermine not only Vaughan’s work, but her sanity.

Very enjoyable.


The Lost Letter by Mimi MatthewsThe Lost Letter by Mimi Matthews

Gawd, I love Mimi Matthews’ books. They are always amazing reads and The Lost Letter was no different.

After her father’s suicide, Sylvia Stafford, once a society darling, must make her way as a governess. When she is called upon by the sister of the man she once loved, who begs Sylvia for help, the call is hard to resist. She may no longer belong to that glittering world, but Sebastian needs her.

Think beauty and the beast with a damaged, reclusive hero, an isolated property, and a beauty whose love is strong enough for them both.

Emotional and simply lovely. Highly recommended.


The Raven Spell by Luanne G SmithThe Raven Spell by Luanne G Smith

I enjoyed Smith’s The Vine Witch trilogy enormously (my thoughts on book one here) so it was a no-brainer to pick up The Raven Spell.

The setting – Victorian London – was deliciously done. I could feel the mist and mud as our witch sisters Edwina and Mary scavenge the Thames’ tide for trinkets to retore and sell in their shop. But Mary likes to scavenge more than trinkets and when they find an unconscious man in the mud, trouble ensues.

The Raven Spell went some interesting places and threw up plenty of twists, as you’d expect with a murder-mystery. There’s even a hint of romance for extra spice.

The second book, The Raven Song, will be an auto-buy too.


Moriarty Takes His Medicine by Anna CastleMoriarty Takes His Medicine by Anna Castle

The Professor & Mrs. Moriarty Mystery Series is proving rather fun. In Moriarty Takes His Medicine, James and Angelina are settling – or trying to settle – into their new life as husband and wife. Neither are happy. Angelina has too many secrets to hide and Moriarty is at a loss with how to entertain himself all day.

The situation is not improved by that pesky Sherlock Holmes coming to call. Apparently, Holmes needs Angelina’s help in solving a case about a respected doctor committing murders for hire. Naturally she agrees and much mayhem ensues.

But will the Moriarty marriage survive?


Embassy of the Empire by J Robert KennedyEmbassy of the Empire by J Robert Kennedy

These James Acton thrillers are a total hoot. Yes, you need to suspend disbelief but that’s part of the fun, and the really bonkers bits are the parts I love most.

Embassy of the Empire sees our intrepid professors wrapped up in what could be the catalyst for World War Three as they investigate a two-thousand-year-old ruined Roman embassy in the heart of China. They’re in danger from the moment they land, only for the situation to deteriorate even further as the world hovers on the brink of war.

I love these stories. They’re super-fast and super entertaining and complete escapism. I should try Kennedy’s Templar series too. I reckon I’d enjoy that a lot.


Nancy Business by RWR McDonaldNancy Business by RWR McDonald

I adored McDonald’s debut The Nancys (read my thoughts on that here). It was a gorgeous book – vivid, emotionally moving, with laugh-out-loud scenes and adorable characters.

I’m not sure Nancy Business reached the same heights as The Nancys but it was a lively read regardless. If there’s another in the series I’ll pick it up no problem. And if the ending of Nancy Business is anything to go by, we will be seeing a sequel.

Loaded with heart and charm.


The Worst Lord in London by Anna CampbellThe Worst Lord in London by Anna Campbell

After the success of her Scandal in Mayfair series, Ms Campbell has a new set of stories to entertain us. Say hello to the Scoundrels of Mayfair, of which The Worst Lord in London is book one.

And what an excellent book it is too!

I loved this. I was so glad that we got to properly meet Kate Starr whom we caught only a glimpse of in previous release, Two Secret Sins. She was intriguing then and proves to be even more so now.

The Worst Lord in London has all the Campbell hallmarks – its sexy, our rake hero is utterly gorgeous, and the heroine is clever, courageous and more than a match for him.



Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden KeefeEmpire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe

Regular readers will know that non-fiction tends not to be my thing, but occasionally I can be lured away from fiction into real life (most of the time I then wish I hadn’t because these books can be so bloody depressing – fascinating, yes. Uplifting? Joyous? Redemptive? Er… no).

Empire of Pain is about the Sackler family, the masterminds behind Oxy-Contin, a drug deeply connected to the United States’ opioid crisis. It’s about their greed, their need for immortality, their manipulations. It’s also about the failures of government bodies.

Most of all, it’s infuriating. These people!

I really need to stop reading this kind of non-fiction, it just makes me stroppy and there’s never a happy ending. On the other hand, it’s seriously compelling and these stories must be told.


A Room Full of Bones by Elly GriffithsA Room Full of Bones by Elly Griffiths

A Room Full of Bones is the fourth book in the Ruth Galloway series, and it didn’t disappoint.

The writing is easy and wonderfully paced, the plot compelling and the atmosphere suitably mysterious. But, as with previous books, it’s the characters I adore. I’m so invested in them and their difficult relationships, not only Ruth and Harry, but their friends and lovers.

Very much looking forward to what happens next in A Dying Fall.


What books have you read lately that you’d like to give a shout-out for?


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