My month in books & bakes – April

my month in books & bakes

What’s happened in April?

On Tuesday April 26th my daughter and I had a day out in London specifically so I could attend my first Rooftop Book Club held at Carmelite House on the Victoria Embankment.  It was a crime panel this time hosting Claire McGowan, Ellie Griffiths and JS Law discussing place and character, followed by Sarah Hilary, Janet Ellis and Antonia Hodgson discussing London and present.  For £10 you had these 2 great panels, drinks, delish nibbles and a goody tote bag with 4 proofs.  It was a fab evening and well worth making the trip. If you get the chance to go, you won’t be disappointed.

Just a few snaps :)

Just a few snaps 🙂

Then….on Saturday 30th I went off to Birmingham to another blogger / author meet up hosted by Kim the Bookworm.  Another well attended event so we were packed in like sardines but I still managed to chat to quite a few people…Mark West, David Videcette, Elaina James, Helen Barrell, Bookaholic Holly, Jane Isaac, Holly Martin and of course my book partner in crime Claire, to name but a few (apologies if I’ve missed anyone in particular).  Do come next time, they’re always such good fun!

Books read: 5

(click the image to go to my review, if it’s available, which it’s probably not because I’m super behind)

The Rosie EffectCut Shortquarter past two on a Wednesday afternoonDear DadSee How They Run




Books added to the TBR: 5

april books

Currently reading: The Light Between Oceans by M.L Stedman

Favourite book for April:  See How They Run by Tom Bale

I baked: (click the images to have a look)

Viennese Fingers

Viennese Fingers

chocolate brownie cupcakes

Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

Blueberry Loaf

Blueberry Loaf

chocolate birthday cake

Chocolate Birthday Cake


Do share your news, bookish or other in the comments…. 🙂

Book Review: Cut Short by Leigh Russell

Cut ShortWhat’s it about?

When DI Geraldine Steel relocates to the quiet rural town of Woolsmarsh, she expects to find her new home to be somewhere where nothing much ever happens; a space where she can battle her demons in private.

But when she finds herself pitted against a twisted killer preying on local young women she quickly discovers how wrong she is…



My thoughts

I met Leigh last month at the Blogger / Author meet up in London where she asked if I’d be interested in reading and reviewing one of her books.  Published in 2009 I chose the first in her DI Geraldine Steel mysteries Cut Short.

From the cover I assumed it would be a lot darker than my usual type of crime read, and I’m pleased to report that it was right up my street and wasn’t overly graphic in the details of the killings.  I don’t really like to read anything more horrific than say if I’m watching an episode of CSI or Silent Witness.

I read the book in under 48 hours which is pretty fast for me.  With short chapters that move at a good pace it makes for a relatively quick read.

I initially liked Geraldine’s character but I didn’t like her constant drinking in the evenings in replacement of a decent meal.  I would like to see a female taking the lead in a perceived male orientated career,  succeed and not be a total mess behind the scenes.  I was asking why she couldn’t be successful in her worklife as well as home….anyway maybe that’ll come later in the series…I hope so!

I also liked that we have chapters from the points of view of prospective and intended victims, as a reader you’re aware of what could happen and you’re praying for them that they just don’t take that turn……

I had a small issue with knowing who the killer was from the start; meaning the book is the reader following the detective through the investigation.  I do think I’m one of those readers that likes to try and have a go at picking out clues, figuring it out and at least have a stab at who the killer may be.

Overall, I enjoyed this and would like to read more of this series to a) see how Leigh has developed as an author and b) to see how Geraldine progresses and find out if she ever puts her DCI in her place!

This book reminded me of Normal by Graeme Cameron and The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza so if you liked these, maybe try Cut Short as your next read.

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Connect with the author Leigh Russell

Website | Twitter

WWW Wednesday (April 13th)

WWW WednesdayThis weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what’s on your reading list this week…

To join in, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?


I’m reading…

Quarter Past Two on a Wednesday Afternoon by Linda Newbury

I popped into the library to return a book the other weekend and of course I came out with another.  It was strategically placed by the returns desk…clever marketing there…just like sweets at the checkout!  I’m only a few chapters in so nothing really to report yet.

quarter past two on a Wednesday afternoonThe blurb

At quarter past two on a hot afternoon in August, Anna’s beautiful, headstrong elder sister Rose disappears.

Twenty years later, Anna still doesn’t know whether Rose is alive or dead. In her early thirties now, she sees her future unfolding – with sensible, serious Martin and a grown-up, steady job – and finds herself wondering if this is what she really wants.

Unable to take control of her life while the mystery of her sister’s disappearance remains unsolved, Anna begins to search for the truth: what did happen to Rose that summer’s day?

I recently finished

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

This sequel was ok, I was expecting more of the humour to follow through from the first novel but it didn’t transpire for me.  It didn’t help that I didn’t really like Rosie in this book!  My book group will be discussing this one this evening.

The Rosie EffectThe blurb

Forty-one-year-old geneticist Don Tillman had never had a second date before he met Rosie.

Now, living in New York City, they have survived ten months and ten days of marriage, even if Don has had to sacrifice standardized meals and embrace unscheduled sex.

But then Rosie drops the mother of all bombshells. And Don must prepare for the biggest challenge of his previously ordered life – while dodging deportation, prosecution and professional disgrace.

Is Don Tillman ready to become the man he always dreamed of being? Or will he revert to his old ways and risk losing Rosie for ever?

I also read

Cut Short by Leigh Russell

I’m not really sure how I feel about crime mystery thrillers when you know who the killer is from the start and you’re just following the detective working it out rather than having a chance of deducing it for yourself.  Having said that I raced through this in less than 48 hours over the weekend!

Cut ShortThe blurb

When DI Geraldine Steel relocates to the quiet rural town of Woolsmarsh, she expects to find her new home to be somewhere where nothing much ever happens; a space where she can battle her demons in private.

But when she finds herself pitted against a twisted killer preying on local young women she quickly discovers how wrong she is…



 What’s up next?

Dear Dad by Giselle Green

I think I may be in need in something a little slower paced and not murder or missing people. Mmmm just heart-wrenching….

Dear DadThe blurb

Handsome, 28-year old, Nate Hardman is a frontline reporter with a big problem. Suffering from shell-shock and unable to leave his house, he’s already lost his social life and his girlfriend. Now his career prospects are sinking fast.

9 year-old Adam Boxley who lives alone with his ageing nan, also has big problems. Neglected at home and bullied at school, he’s desperate to reach out to his dad – and that’s when he sends his first letter to Nate. Only Nate’s not who he thinks he is. Will he help? More importantly – can he?

Across town meanwhile, caring but impulsive teacher Jenna Tierney really wants to help Adam – except the feisty redhead has already had enough of teaching. Recently hurt by yet another cheating boyfriend, Jenna’s now set her sights on pursuing a dream career abroad … only she’s about to meet Nate – her dream man who’ll make her re-think everything.

The big question is; can three people desperate to find love, ever find happiness when they’re only connected by one big lie?

Have you read any of this week’s choices?

Share what you’re reading in the comments…