Sunday, 6 February 2011

In My Mailbox 30

From Bookmooch:
Double Dealer (CSI) by Max Allan Collins
Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn
Knocked Out by my Nunga-Nungas by Louise Rennison

For review:
Snapped by Pamela Klaffke

A Royal Likeness by Christine Trent. Christine had signed the book for me and had written me a little note too.

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Johnny Swanson by Eleanor Updale

Johnny Swanson This is the answer to smelly feet - wear a clothes peg on your nose. 11-year-old Johnny Swanson is in business. He's raking in the money with his advertising scams and his agony aunt persona, Ada Ardour, who offers advice on absolutely anything in return for a shilling. But his money-making schemes are getting him in too deep. Everything is spiralling out of control, and now his own mother is in mortal danger. There's only one thing for it: Johnny must assume another role - as undercover detective.
My thoughts: The title character, Johnny, hates being short so when he sees an advert in the newspaper that promises the secret to tallness he steals some money off his mum to send away for the secret. Unfortunately this is a con, but it gives Johnny an idea for his own money-making scheme to help pay back the money he stole and to help his mum pay the rent. He places his own adverts in the paper to trick people into sending him money. Some of his adverts were really clever and funny, and even though he was technically breaking the law I really wanted his plans to work.
Later on the focus of the book shifts as a murder is committed and Johnny's mum is the prime suspect. Johnny knows he must clear his mum's name, even if it means risking getting into trouble himself.

The book is set in 1929 and a lot of the story is centred around Tuberculosis and the treatment of the disease. This historical aspect made for interesting reading and I certainly learned some facts about TB that I didn't know before. But the book is so much more than just a historical story, it's a fun mystery story with a fantastic character who I couldn't help but love.

ISBN: 9780385616423
Publish date: April 2010
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Author website:
Book source: Personal collection

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Monthly Round-up January 2011

January News
In case you hadn't noticed, I switched to a custom domain. This is something I'd been meaning to do for ages, I was just a bit scared that it wouldn't work but thankfully it did. You can now find the site at, but don't worry, any old links will still work just fine. I also have a new layout, which I'm still tweaking to my liking.
Highlight of the month: I did an interview with Maria V. Snyder. She's one of my favourite authors, so this was kind of a big deal for me!
Also in January I launched a new weekly feature/meme called Monday Memories where every Monday I talk about one of my favourite childhood books. I've really enjoyed doing this feature, it's fun to look back at some of the books that kicked off my reading addiction.

Books finished in January
Friends of Choice by Linda Nelson
Puzzle For the Secret Seven by Enid Blyton
Die A Little by Megan Abbott
The Ring O' Bells Mystery by Enid Blyton
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Dead in the Water by Carola Dunn
Tomorrow's Guardian by Richard Denning
Fire Season by V.H. Folland
The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean. M. Auel
Hector & The Secrets of Love by François Lelord

My favourite book this month was The Clan of the Cave Bear.  It was nothing like any other book I've read and it was just amazing. 

My reviews for all these books will be up in the next couple of weeks, I'm still trying to catch up with reviews from last year!

Reviews posted in January
Anne of Green Gables/Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery
My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
A Step Too Far by Meg Hutchinson
Summer, Sun & Stuff According to Alex by Kathryn Lamb
The Tapestry of Love by Rosy Thornton

Monday Memories in January
The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton
Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

Books received this month: 16
Added to wishlist: 21

What's coming in February?
On Feb 16th I'll be taking part in the blog tour for Tomorrow's Guardian by Richard Denning. I'll be posting a review of the book and Richard will be answering a couple of questions.
I've also got plenty of reviews lined up and I'll be continuing with Monday Memories.