The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor | #20BooksOfSummer

Author : Andrew Taylor
Title : The Ashes of London
Series : James Marwood #1
Pages : 482
Publisher : Harper Collins
Publication date : April 7, 2016

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

London, September 1666. The Great Fire rages through the city, consuming everything in its path. Even the impregnable cathedral of St. Paul’s is engulfed in flames and reduced to ruins. Among the crowds watching its destruction is James Marwood, son of a disgraced printer, and reluctant government informer.

In the aftermath of the fire, a semi-mummified body is discovered in the ashes of St. Paul’s, in a tomb that should have been empty. The man’s body has been mutilated and his thumbs have been tied behind his back.

Under orders from the government, Marwood is tasked with hunting down the killer across the devastated city. But at a time of dangerous internal dissent and the threat of foreign invasion, Marwood finds his investigation leads him into treacherous waters – and across the path of a determined, beautiful and vengeful young woman.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Recently, I’ve been on the look-out for more historical crime fiction as it’s a genre I’ve been enjoying quite a bit lately. The Ashes Of London caught my eye as it’s an era I’m not especially familiar with. I had heard of The Great Fire though, so that’s something as that is where this story starts.

The Great Fire of London in 1666 caused quite a few deaths. But St. Paul’s holds another body that didn’t perish in the fire. This victim was murdered before the fire got to them. As James Marwood watches the devastating fire roar, he helps a boy to safety. A boy who later turns out to be a young girl. This girl, Catherine, is trying to find her father. Could he be the murder victim?

For some reason, I couldn’t quite get to grips with this one. While I found it interesting to see the devastation the fire caused across the city, how it affected some but not others and the way it seemed to rain ashes for days on end, I mostly picked this book because I’m a crime fan. And the crime fan in me will always be way more intrigued by the murder investigation. This seemed to often take a bit of a backseat though in this story. There is a lot of walking through the streets, soaking up the atmosphere, a rather big cast of characters which sometimes confused me, conversations of which I felt they didn’t really bring much to the table and a rather slow pace where I was expecting more tension and “oomph”.

The story switches between James and Catherine. Unfortunately for me, neither of these two characters particularly held my interest and I often found my attention wandering. This story of conspiracies and revenge didn’t quite do it for me. I actually have the other books on my shelves and I will be giving them a go at some point. But for now, when I need a historical crime fiction fix, I will return to the Shardlake series by C.J. Sansom which, in my most humble opinion, is far more superior.

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Book 10 from my 20 Books of Summer list.

Weekly Wrap-Up (July 6)

This wrap-up might be somewhat on the short side because I have friends coming over this afternoon and a bajillion things to do.

While I’ve been putting this post together, the other half started vacuuming so now I’m wondering if I just sit here and look busy, if he’ll tackle some other chores from my list. 🤔

This week has consisted mostly of books and Wimbledon tennis. Probably more tennis than books, actually. I have a liiiiitle bit of leeway in my schedule so hopefully I won’t get into too much trouble.

So, what have I read this week?

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

I’m okay with that. That could have been a lot worse! One from my 20 Books of Summer list and the others are all for blog tours. Good thing I’m slowing down, eh?

Today’s guessing game : there are two 5 stars reads. Go! 😂

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Oops 😳. I am so running out of room to put all of these. Especially paperbacks. So I often tell myself “self, we should read more paperbacks” and thus we choose another hardback because that’s just how self and I roll. 🤣

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Shared my review for Black Summer by M.W. Craven

Tuesday : Reviewed The Friend Who Lied by Rachel Amphlett

Wednesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for The Closer I Get by Paul Burston and shared My Week in Books

Thursday : Reviewed The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Friday : Joined the blog tour for The Reunion by Guillaume Musso

Saturday : Shared my review of The Island by Ragnar Jónasson

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Get me posting every day of the week!

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Blog tour | Review | The Sleepwalker by Joseph Knox

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | The Divorce by Victoria Jenkins

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Blog tour | Review | A Fatal Game by Nicholas Searle

Friday : Blog tour | Review | I Looked Away by Jane Corry

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Yep, slowing down is working like a charm. 😂

Right, that’s it. Hope everyone has a brilliant week! See you next time. Happy reading! xx

This Week in Books (July 3)

Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

| LAST BOOK I FINISHED READING |

London, September 1666. The Great Fire rages through the city, consuming everything in its path. Even the impregnable cathedral of St. Paul’s is engulfed in flames and reduced to ruins. Among the crowds watching its destruction is James Marwood, son of a disgraced printer, and reluctant government informer.

In the aftermath of the fire, a semi-mummified body is discovered in the ashes of St. Paul’s, in a tomb that should have been empty. The man’s body has been mutilated and his thumbs have been tied behind his back.

Under orders from the government, Marwood is tasked with hunting down the killer across the devastated city. But at a time of dangerous internal dissent and the threat of foreign invasion, Marwood finds his investigation leads him into treacherous waters – and across the path of a determined, beautiful and vengeful young woman.

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

As a series of rolling blackouts plunge the city into darkness, Detective Aidan Waits sits on an abandoned hospital ward, watching a mass murderer slowly die. Transferred from his usual night shift duties and onto protective custody, he has just one job…

To extract the location of Martin Wick’s final victim before the notorious mass murderer passes away.

Wick has spent over a decade in prison, in near-total silence, having confessed to an unspeakable crime that shocked the nation and earned him the nickname of TheSleepwalker.

But when a daring premeditated attack leaves one police officer dead and another one fighting for his life, Wick’s whispered last words will send Waits on a journey into the heart of darkness…

Manipulated by a reticent psychopath from his past, and under investigation from his new partner, Detective Constable Naomi Black, Waits realises too late that a remorseless contract killer is at work.

Can Aidan Waits solve his last case before fleeing justice?

Or will his name be next on the hit list?

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

When Lydia and Josh Green walk into Karen’s office one rainy February morning, Karen sees a couple under stress, almost at breaking point. But working with struggling couples, finding out more about their problems, helping to save their marriages, is what Karen does. 

But as Karen spends more time with Lydia and Josh, her sense of unease grows… 

Lydia is something more than just a woman whose marriage is in trouble. She seems frightened for her safety. 

Josh is angry, grief-stricken and seems to be hiding a dark secret. 

And soon Karen herself is afraid – there is something about the behaviour of this couple that recalls traumatic incidents from her own past. There is something there that may be the key to saving them, if Karen can only unlock it in time… 

Wimbledon is seriously messing up my reading plans. I can already tell I won’t be reading 7 books this week. 😂

What are you reading? Do let me know! Happy reading! xx

Weekly Wrap-Up (April 14)

First things first! Many, many thanks for all the positive vibes you guys sent my way here and over Twitter regarding my doggie. The news was altogether pretty positive and she’s out of the woods for now. Unfortunately, it looks like it might turn into a recurring problem. She’s old after all. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, she’s being spoilt rotten … erm, even more so than before.

Yohi would very much like to point out she looks amazing for her age

What the hell happened to Spring?! It’s been so cold this past week, with a few nights even going below freezing point again and I do NOT approve! Still, that does mean I can ignore my garden for a little longer and stay nice and warm on my sofa, surrounded by books.

So, what have I been reading this week, I hear you ask.

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

Another six off the shelf! I’m happy with that amount because that C.J. Sansom series is one doorstop after the other. This one was a mere 576 pages, although it didn’t feel like it.

I also finished an audiobook but since I started it weeks ago, I didn’t feel it should count 🤣

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

I’m continuing with my collection of Harlan Coben books, of which I apparently read more than I thought 🙄. I also went ahead and bought the three books in the James Marwood series by Andrew Taylor because of Kate. If you love historical fiction, you should definitely follow her!

These are the April 4th preorders that finally arrived. Why yes, I have already read two of them.

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

Lucky, lucky blogger. With thanks to Orenda Books and Penguin!

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Reviewed The Bridal Party by J.G. Murray

Tuesday : Shared my review for My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Shared an extract from Suddenly Single by Carol Wyer on the blog tour

Friday : Nothing

Saturday : Took the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

I didn’t get any reminder emails so it’s safe to say I didn’t forget to write anything down in my schedule and at least I managed to fill in some of the gaps. Let’s just call it the quiet before the storm. 😂

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Nothing planned

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | The Passengers by John Marrs
Tuesday : Blog tour | Guest Post | White Leaves of Peace by Tracey Iceton

Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe
Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Blog tour | Review | The Garden of Lost and Found by Harriet Evans

Friday : Blog tour | Review | Liberation Square by Gareth Rubin

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Told you things would get back to normal soon 😂. Still ahead of schedule though. I’ve read all of them, I just need to write one more review.

In other news, voting is now open in the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards. I’ve been nominated for Best Book Blog, alongside 64 other amazing book bloggers. I don’t stand a chance of winning but if you feel so inclined to cast a vote my way, please do. I don’t know if they rank everyone but if they do, I’d quite like to avoid coming last 😂 . You can vote here

Question of the week : Short versus long books. Yes, of course this was prompted by the Shardlake series by C.J. Sansom. Does a high amount of pages put you off starting a book? What is your cut-off point, if you have one?

I personally don’t care. I mean, I read the Game of Thrones series. Some of those went over a thousand pages and it didn’t bother me at all. Obviously I’d need more time in my schedule to tackle something like that than I do now. And preferably someone to hold the book up and flip the pages for me. 😂

Speaking of Game of Thrones, the final series starts tonight/tomorrow, depending on where you are. I will be disappearing off social media every Monday until I’ve had the chance to watch the episode myself so don’t worry if I’m late with sharing your posts or just not interacting. Should probably say, interacting even less. I just know the second I go online, there will be spoilers and I will do anything to avoid that. I so can’t wait!

Right, enough babble for this week. Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend. Have a great week and I’ll see you next time. Happy reading! xx