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  • lotenwriting

Written and Read 5/12

Writing Goals

  • Two more books are due to be published shortly for Castle Priory Press

  • 'The Quest of the Summer King' was published

Reading Goals

  • 2/30 library books (10 left)

  • 2023 kindle list complete. Reading books added in 2024 now

  • 0/15 bookshelf books (4 left)

  • 0/3 books to buy read (3 left)

My list has been abandoned somewhat this month as I was steadily making my way through as much of Anthony Horowitz's back catalogue as I could, in preparation for interviewing him at the Robin of Sherwood Convention. I'd read a few of his books before but feel as though a whole new world has been opened up for me. I was also still doing a lot of sewing at the start of the month and then towards the end, work has kicked in again and as I'm still completing orders, I'm not getting a lot of time to read anything beyond the things I have to read.

Book Reviews


With A Mind To Kill - Anthony Horowtiz (Audiobook. The last of Horowitz's James Bond books. I loved it all the way through, until the end. It was an utterly brilliant way to end the book, but I wanted to know what happened next.)

Stormbreaker - Anthony Horowitz (Audiobook. First in the Alex Rider series. It was interesting to read this after the James Bond book because it was a different take on the spy stories I am used to.)

Point Blanc - Anthony Horowitz (Audiobook. Second in the Alex Rider series. Alex gets dragged reluctantly back into the world of espionage. I found it interesting that this book explored the realities of being a spy compared to the fantasy and glamour which surrounds the profession.)


The Sentence Is Death - Anthony Horowitz (Audiobook. Hawthorne & Horowitz Book 2. The somewhat mismatched pair investigate their second case together and discover that old crimes cast long shadows.)

A Line To Kill - Anthony Horowitz (Audiobook. Book 3 takes the pair to Alderney and a very small literary festival where no one is quite who they seem to be.)

The Twist Of A Knife - Anthony Horowitz (Audiobook. Anthony finds himself the main suspect in Book 4 and even more reluctantly than before he finds himself working with Hawthorne in a bid to clear his name. One of the things I love about this series is the constant references to the things going on in Horowitz's life. The references to Foyle's War ground the book i reality and make it very difficult to remember that this is metafiction.)

The House Of Silk - Anthoy Horowitz (Audiobook. First of Horowitz's Sherlock Holmes books. Utterly brilliant. Perfectly captures the essence of Conan Doyle while delivering a completely fresh approach and the little cameo from a well-known character is a touch of genius.)


The House on the Water - Victoria Darke (Compelling thriller that kept me guessing right to the end. Full review can be found here.)


Public Enemy Number Two - Anthony Horowitz (Audiobook. Second Diamond Brothers book. Tim is just as clueless as ever, while Nick tries vainly to keep them out of trouble, even when he's behind bars himself.)

South By South East - Anthony Horowitz (Audiobook. 3rd Diamond Brothers. Even though these books are for children, as an adult I really appreciate them as I know the source material that they are taken from. In this case, it's one of my all time favourite films. He is so clever.)

The Blurred Man - Anthony Horowitz (Audiobook. 4th Diamond Brothers. Nik Grace's audio narration of this series is superb and some of the interactions between Tim and Nick really remind me of those between Gisburne and the Sheriff in RoS.)

The Devil and His Boy - Anthony Horowitz (Audiobook. Standalone set in Shakespearean times. Plots abound and our hero finds himself right at the heart of them.)

The French Confection - Anthony Horowitz (Audiobook. Even in Paris the brothers end up in hot water. A free holiday turns into a nightmare as they are pursued through the streets of Paris by gangsters who are convinced they cannot possibly be as clueless as Tim appears.)

Magical Realism

She Would Be King - Wayetu Moore (Audiobook. Fantastical set of interwoven stories that draw together the different strands to form a complete narrative by the end of the book. Utterly fascinating and one I would highly recommend if you're looking to read something a bit different.)


A Spell Of Winter - Helen Dunmore (Book Group pick. I enjoyed this, although it was a bit of a slow burner to begin with. However, the story did draw me in and the incest was nicely handled - as you say it felt right within the context of the book, rather than being for shock value. I enjoyed the complexity of the relationships and admired the skill in crafting the one between Cathy and Eunice, the hints of obsession and the final dark turn it took.

However, whilst I admired it as a piece of writing, I wouldn’t say it was one I ‘enjoyed’. I think it is worth reading, but I’m glad I’d read others of hers first.)

The Stranger's Companion - Mary Horlock (Not at all what I'd expected. I thought it was going to be a classic 1930s style crime novel, but it really wasn't. There was so much more to it and I found it really interesting. Full review coming next month.)


The 1953 Essex Flood Disaster - Patricia Rennoldson Smith (Read for research. Interesting look at how different areas were affected by the great flood.)


Plaything - Bea Setton (Unusual and interesting story of obsession. Full review can be found here.)

Book of the Month?

It's so hard to choose an individual book. I absolutely loved the Hawthorne and Horowitz series but because I read them all so close together it's really difficult to separate them out into individual books. I think on balance, my favourite of this month was 'She Would Be King' by Wayetu Moore. It was a Between The Covers recommendation and when I first started listening to it, I wasn't sure if it was going to be for me. Magical realism is not a genre I would naturally gravitate towards, but it was a fascinating listen and as something a bit different to pick up, it was excellent.

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