The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown, a review

I was so excited when I found the second book in the Baby Ganesh Agency Investigation series. This is such a fun mystery series set in India, following a man who inherited a baby elephant after he was forcefully retired from the police (those two events were unrelated 😂)

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I adore these style of books, similar to Agatha Christie’s Poirot. They’re fun and silly, whilst still having some very serious themes and engaging content.

With this being the second book in the series I enjoyed how it continued on with some of the plotlines we’d encountered in the first book as well as adding its individual mystery component.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Charaters: 9, Atmosphere: 8, Writing: 8, Plot: 7, Intrigue: 8, Logic: 8, and Enjoyment: 9. Overall this gives the book a score of 8.14 which is a solid 4 star read.

I definitely want to continue with this series so cross your fingers for me that I can find the same editions!!

First Lines Friday #21

It’s time for another First Lines Friday! Hosted by Wandering Words!!

What if, instead of judging a book by its cover or its author, we judged the book by its opening lines?

Here is how it works:

– Pick a book and open to the first page.

– Copy the first few lines without revealing which book it is.

– Reveal the book!

So… do these first lines entice you?

Thirty-two hours of my life are missing.
My best friend, Lydia, tells me to imagine those hours like old clothes in the back of a dark closet. Shut my eyes. Open the door. Move things around. Search.
The things I do remember, I’d rather not. Four freckles. Eyes that aren’t black but blue, wife open, two inches from mine. Insects gnawing into a smooth, soft cheek. The grit of the earth in my teeth. Those parts, I remember.

Scroll down to reveal the book!

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Black-Eyed Susans: Heaberlin, Julia: 9780718181338: Books
Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

Another book I’ve owned for a while! This one was gifted to be by my lovely boyfriend at the beginning of our relationship. I was so eager to read it but didn’t want to spend the money, so he grabbed me it. And yet here I am, 4 years later, and I’ve still not read it. I randomly went off of thrillers, I don’t know why and I’m not sure how to get myself interested in them again. So for now this sits at the back of my shelf in shame.

First Lines Friday #3!

This is quickly becoming a new weekly feature here and I love it! As always Wandering Words hosts this tag.

What if, instead of judging a book by its cover or its author, we judged the book by its opening lines?

Here is how it works:

– Pick a book and open to the first page.

– Copy the first few lines without revealing which book it is.

– Reveal the book!

So… do these first lines entice you?

I forget everything between footsteps.

‘Anna!’ I finish shouting, snapping my mouth shut in surprise.

My mind has gone blank. I don’t know who Anna is or why I’m calling her name. I don’t even know how I got here. I’m standing in a forest, shielding my eyes from the spitting rain. My heart’s thumping, I reek of sweat and my legs are shaking. I must have been running but I can’t remember why.

‘How did –‘ I’m cut short by the sight of my own hands. They’re bony, ugly. A stranger’s hands. I don’t recognise them at all.

Scroll down to reveal the book!

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The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

This book sounds like it’s going to be right up my alley but it’s also so big that I’ve been putting it off! I’ll be surprised if I read this before 2021. Have you read it? Let me know what you thought of it!

What the HELL was this book?

Watching Edie by Camilla Way had been on my tbr for a long time, around 4 years probably. I had picked it up in a Poundland when they still sold new books (any Brits, they now sell secondhand books, it can be a good spot to check if you’re on the skint side like moi) and for some reason just never picked it up. It was my choice in the “shortest book” slot for the Thrillerathon in February and seeing as I was late to start this readathon I decided to pick this one up.

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It started out promising, I personally enjoyed Way’s writing style and the storyline was interesting. However, as the book carried on it devolved and became a lot less interesting. It also felt manipulative towards the reader, trying to make you feel for the events and the characters when the writing hadn’t been good enough and the plot hadn’t been written well enough to justify these emotions.

I struggled with my rating for this book, and I still do. I’m between a one and two star. I did enjoy certain bits and as I said, I enjoyed the writing style, which is why I bumped it up to a two star. It is, however, a badly done concept and I don’t care for it at all. I’m glad it’s off of my tbr now and I’ll likely donate it to charity at some point. Hopefully someone else can enjoy it, but I doubt it.


Sometimes you need to feel uncomfortable


This book was on my tbr for a long while, and it took my friend putting it on my February tbr for me to pick it up. It’s about an old lady who is certain that her friend has gone missing, but no one seems to believe her and she doesn’t know why.


Maud’s memory is terrible, she can be in the middle of an act when she forgets what she’s doing and her family and carers are starting to get fed up. That’s where me feeling uncomfortable comes in, as my gran is going the same way and we do all get annoyed at her. As far as I know she isn’t this bad, but we don’t live anywhere near her and there’s no one to check on her. I worry. Because of this, for me specifically, a lot of this story is uncomfortable. Which definitely is altering my view of the book as a whole, however, I did enjoy the flashbacks to Maud’s childhood and the mystery there.

The end was both surprising and not, and I’m grateful that both halves of the story get wrapped up, and that we aren’t left hanging wondering what had happened in the late 1940s or in the present day. I ended up giving this book 3.5 stars overall (3 on Goodreads) and I think it had the chance to be pushed up to 4 star if I hadn’t had that guilty feeling, as well as being annoyed with Maud at the same time.

It’s a very interesting book which will make you think about the fragility of life and about how you will be when you age. Young people have the tendency to think they they’re immortal and it’s good to have reminders that it isn’t the case, and that one day this will happen to us too.


My first Stephen King!

I’ve finally read something from Stephen King!! It took me damn long enough to get to something by him! My friend, who picked this for my tbr, still hasn’t read this one, but once she does I’ll update with her opinion!

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As for me, I really enjoyed this book! For quick a while it’s “just” a gripping thriller, where the wrong man is being convicted because all of the evidence points to him. But he’s got a solid tight alibi which says he wasn’t even in the area when the crime happened. What’s the truth?

Turns out it’s weirder than the detectives expected with a horror twist as you get further into the story. I really was engaged throughout this book and the audiobook is good too. I will say that there were sections which made me uncomfortable. Some of them were obviously supposed to, describing the crime scene and such. Some of them, however, weren’t supposed to. Descriptions of women, or of POC, seemed crude and kind of derogatory, which I didn’t enjoy.

I can look past that for a story well told, however, I feel like I have to mention it. Not doing so would make me feel like I was saying I was fine with it. Especially given that this book was published recently it’s just unacceptable and I hope that King changes his writing style to not objectify people.

An interesting read, which stayed in my head for a while, and a discombobulated review, because this book is a madhouse!

Poirot’s nursery rhymes


Book 2 in my Buzzwordathon stack was yet another Poirot book, I was really happy that the next book that I owned from Christie had a number in the title! This mystery is from 16 years in the past and Poirot is attempting to see if a woman who was convicted of murdering her husband is actually innocent.

There are as always many twists and turns within this novel which keep you on your toes as the information is slowly dripped through to you. Despite really enjoying these books I never seem to rate them 5 stars, and I think I have finally figured out why. I think it’s because Christie never shows us all of the information until the reveal and so the reader never gets the chance to figure out the plot twist themselves. Despite this, however, I still really enjoy the books and intend to read them all.

I gave this book 3 stars and enjoyed the viewpoint of a long dead case and Poirot’s deduction of the events from fallible memories. Definitely a fun and quick read!

Spooky Reading Recommendations!

So I’m not great with scary things. They aren’t my favourite and I don’t enjoy scaring myself, so instead my recommendations for Halloween reads are more mystery, thriller and dark, rather than pure scary. I’ll start off with children’s books and move on through to adult literature, but definitely try out all you feel comfortable with! I also have this post in video format on my YouTube channel from last year, so click here if you prefer to listen to/watch the recommendations!


Sheets by Brenna Thummler

This cute little graphic novel is linked into Halloween with an adorable ghost who appears and wants to assist our protagonist. A nice and unspooky way to join in with the season. Find my full review here!


Kiss of DeathKiss of Death by Malcolm Rose

Something a little more creepy, two children pick up a coin on a school trip to a town which was previously ravaged by the plague. Taking this coin places a curse on the two and we see them struggle to come to this realisation and figure out a solution.

blood waterBlood Water by Dean Vincent Carter

There’s a “thing” in the water in this slightly scary teen read. It’s escaped from where it was being kept for research and is resulting in the gory deaths of those living nearby. Something a bit more creepy for those who want to test themselves. This isn’t a book I enjoyed personally but if the synopsis looks intriguing to you then check it out.

the black book of secretsThe Black Book of Secrets by F. E. Higgins

Back to something not as scary again, this book (and the whole series) are very fun, creepy reads aimed at 11+ readers. This book focuses on a man who pays money to write peoples secrets in his black book, our protagonist doesn’t understand why he would pay for this. So he tries to find out.

Who Could That Be at This HourWho Could That Be at This Hour by Lemony Snicket

What creepy but not too scary book recs list would be complete without Lemony Snicket?! Obviously there is the whole Series of Unfortunate Events, however, another one of his series’ is called All The Wrong Questions and is more of a YA book. More of the Snicket we love with a more mature audience in mind.

skuldugerySkulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

One of my absolute favourite series’, that I’ve been following since the beginning and continue to pick up. These books are 11+ and follow a Skeleton detective and the niece of his best friend as they get into a lot of scrapes. So much fun, great Irish humour and perfect for Halloween! (Also not spooky at all, the only fear is when the characters get themselves into stupid situations haha)

the last apprenticeThe Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney 

This series goes by many names, in the UK (where I’m from!) it’s called Spooks, but in the US it is The Last Apprentice, and the first book has the same name. A little more of a creepy YA, we follow a young boy as he becomes the apprentice of the spook. A man who rounds up witches and keeps society safe from them. There are a few issues with this series, as it seems to be incredibly patriarchal with a mistrust of any female, however, I thought I would still mention it on this list as when I first read it at 15 I didn’t notice this and still really enjoyed the books. It’s up to you.

Messenger of FearMessenger of Fear by Michael Grant

Another one of my favourite books, I read this for the first time recently and couldn’t put both it and the sequel down. I’m waiting on tenderhooks for book #3!! This follows a girl who has been apprenticed to the Messenger of Fear. It’s a nasty job, but she chose to take it on, and doesn’t remember why as her memory was wiped. Lots of graphic violence and a little bit of creepiness. A lot of fun!!

cold bath streetCold Bath Street by A. J. Hartley

Not the most well heard of book, which is such a pity as this is yet another 5* read on this list! We follow a young boy names Preston when he has died, and how he copes in the world beyond. But there’s trouble, things aren’t following the route that they’re supposed to and he somehow gets himself entwined within this issue and aims to discover what is going on. Creepy (on a small scale, but more than some of the others on this list) and so engrossing! Find my full review here!

aliceAlice by Christina Henry

An Alice In Wonderland retelling with a twist. This book had me absolutely ensnared for well over a week after I finished reading it! It’s dark, gritty and you should probably forget about other retellings you’ve read as this doesn’t follow that tried and tested format. I loved the skewed, humanoid versions of our well-known characters within Wonderland and how this was dragged into more of a dystopian world than a mythical land. 100% recommend and love! This isn’t a YA read though, so don’t go in with that expectation. Find my full review here!


Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

A straight thriller, a common choice for this time of year. This one messed with my mind, and it’s why I gave it 5 stars! I’ll say straight off that not everyone will enjoy this book, for example, BooksandLala really didn’t like it due to the ending which she considered to be over the top (and I can see why), so keep that in mind. But personally, I loved it and was absolutely enraptured and unable to put it down. Find my full review here!

the end of mr yThe End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas

This book is a lot less well known than it should be, in my opinion, and I only know about it as I spotted it in a charity shop. With a creepy mystery surrounding a long-lost book, death, fantasy and weird shit are all present in this great book!

25694617His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

This isn’t your traditional Halloween read, the only real gory section is that there is a murder. Our MC is being tried for a murder he committed, and we follow the events before, during and after the murder, as well as the trial itself. This is 100% not creepy, but it will make you think. Find my full review here!

the girl in 6EThe Girl in 6E by A. R. Torre

This thriller has it all, murderous tendencies, a creep that goes rogue and so much more. This will keep you on the edge of your seat and I personally came to really love our protagonist despite her obvious and glaring flaws.

the house of silkThe House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

I had to include a traditional style mystery in here! I love reading Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle so whenever people add to their works and build upon their characters – I’m in! This book was brilliant and had me hooked, 100% recommend if you want to delve back into the world of Sherlock.

macbethMacbeth by William Shakespeare

Now for an original classic, this book has murder and witches and is thoroughly enjoyable! If you find play scripts difficult to read then there are many great film adaptations of the work, sometimes watching a performance before reading it can be helpful for those who don’t flow naturally into this different writing layout.

the damnedThe Damned vol 1 by Cullen Bunn, and illustrated by Brian Hurtt and Bill Crabtree

A dark, noir, gangster comic which definitely fits within the horror genre with its graphic panels, there are also fantasy elements within the story which allows it to break the walls of reality in an interesting manner. Check out my full review here!

ghosts of the pastGhosts of the Past by Serge LeTendre and David S. Khara, and illustrated by Frédéric Peynet

This is a mystery/crime comic which follows our protagonist as he deals with Nazi’s, both in the present day and also with what they did during WWII. Pretty dark, due to the topic that it deals with, however, there isn’t really a scare factor. Click for my review for more of my thoughts.

And that’s your lot! It’s a bit of a long list, and my video is almost 25 minutes long so I apologise for that, but hopefully, I’ve been able to provide some ideas for books to delve into this spoopy season!! If you want to see how I get along with my October reads (which have a bit of a spooky theme) then keep an eye on my channel for my October Reading Wrap Up!

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

Alphabetised Death

A serial killer is working his way through the alphabet, killing off not only those who’s initials fit his theme, but those with this feature who also live in a town with the same first letter. A very specific event, and to add to this predictability, letters are also sent from the murderer to Poirot before each event! What on earth is occuring?

Agatha Christie does it again, of course! This book, I knew from the title and the cover, was going to be one of my favourites. Don’t ask me how I knew, I just did! From the start Christie lets you further in to behind the scenes, similarly as to how the killer lets Poirot in more than usual. However, of course, things are not quite as simple as they seem and multiple twists and turns occur throughout with so many intertwining sections that you’ll need to focus to keep track! But don’t worry, the story is as gripping as always so you’ll have no issue with being completely immersed.

Another greatly enjoyable Christie book, although you guys knew that before even clicking on the review soooooo…. 😀

Poirot and Christie strike again with a peril and a young woman

Yes yes, another Poirot! These are just such easy reads, and while I’m in the end stages of my MSc that’s really what I need if I’m going to read at all (spoiler alert these reviews are normally quite behind my actual reading schedule and I haven’t read anything in weeks. Blimmin’ thesis taking up all my time!!!)

This one really got me riled up at the end, even after reading so many books from Christie in a row she still manages to astound me and take twists that are more than surprising! Of course I won’t spoil the twist but Poirot is helping a young girl who seems to be the target of various failed assassinations for an unknown reason. This specific Poirot novel goes through twists and turns as Christie analyses her view of the young people of her time and that makes it such an interesting read as always. Agatha Christie has such a good understanding of people and how they operate, as shown so clearly in her writing, but she also seems to be fully aware of biases which she may be victim to. This adds another layer of nuance to Poirot and Hastings’ portrayals, done in two very different ways, and I feel like this book is a beautiful example of that.

As always I recommend, I have quite a number of reviews on Agatha Christie’s work at this point so I definitely recommend going through my back-catalogue to find the right one for you!

The Mystery of the Blue Train

The Big Four

Poirot Investigates

The Monogram Murders

The Thirteen Problems

Death in the Clouds

The Mystery of Three Quarters